ESRA logo

ESRA 2023 Preliminary Glance Program

All time references are in CEST

Contexts of VET and HE: Measuring, linking, and analyzing data 2

Session Organisers Dr Katarina Wessling (ROA, Maastricht University)
Dr Dominik Becker (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Bonn)
TimeWednesday 19 July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room U6-01c

After completing general secondary school, students can – depending on the educational system – enter different forms of vocational education and training (VET) or Higher Education (HE). These different forms of post-school education take place in contexts, e.g., vocational schools, firms, colleges, universities of applied sciences, or research university. In countries that offer on-the-job VET programs or dual-study programs, students are trained jointly in firms and in vocational schools or colleges.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of channels and mechanism through which theses contexts influence individuals’ skill acquisition and labor market outcomes, data (in particular linked data) on these contexts is necessary.

In this session, we discuss data and substantive research on the measurement and analysis of contextual settings in the above sense, and their consequences for individuals’ educational and employment outcomes.

We are interested in the following research topics:

Data linkage: Linking firm-level and vocational school-level, college-level and/or university-level data with student/apprentice-level data
Measurement of context conditions in VET, firms, or HE:
- Expectations (and effectiveness) of VET school, HE institution teachers or firm instructors
- Instruction quality in VET school, HE institution or on the firm level
- Social, ethnic, gender, skill, or other forms of composition in VET school, HE institution or in firms
- Changes or modifications in training and study programs within or between occupations/fields of study (e.g., implementation of technological change or other forms of innovativeness)
- Implementation and evaluation of blended and online learning in VET school, HE institution or in firms
Analyses of effects of context conditions in VET, firms, or HE:
- Effects on objective labor-market outcomes, e.g., skill acquisition, wages, employment prospects, mismatch, occupational status, or occupational mobility
- Effects on subjective labor market outcomes, e.g., vocational interests, work values, career plans,

Keywords: VET school, HE institutions, firms, data linkage, measurment, context effects

Australia’s Student Experience Survey: a major review of items to ensure relevance in a changing world

Dr Rebecca Taylor (Australian Council for Educational Research) - Presenting Author
Ms Ali Radloff (Australian Council for Educational Research)
Dr Daniel Edwards (Australian Council for Educational Research)
Ms Leyna Clarke (Australian Council for Educational Research)
Dr Ling Tan (Australian Council for Educational Research)

The Student Experience Survey (SES) is the national instrument for monitoring the experience and engagement of higher education students in Australia. The SES, and its predecessor, the University Experience Survey (UES), has been used for the past decade to collect information on the experience and satisfaction of current students studying in Australian higher education institutions, including all universities and non-university higher education providers, with over 250,000 undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students participating every year. It provides valuable information to the Australian higher education sector that is used to increase transparency, help inform improvements to students’ educational experience, and provide information to prospective students.

This paper details the work undertaken the first full major review of this instrument which was undertaken to determine whether the SES was still appropriate for measuring students’ experience in higher education and was meeting the needs of data users, after a period of significant change. The review was also tasked with ensuring the survey remains valid over the next decade. The review involved a review of literature, an extensive consultation process with stakeholders across Australia and a comprehensive statistical analyses of SES data, including data from 2019 (pre-COVID) and 2021 (it’s most recent sitting).

This paper outlines the outcome of the review and then focusses on how we implemented the recommendations to improve the survey. We will discuss how we developed and piloted new ways to measure:
• online and blended learning contexts
• student engagement
• experience of support services provided by higher education institutions
• a new code-frame for whether a student had seriously considered leaving.

The findings of this review are relevant and insightful to all providers of higher education and provide clear benchmarks for other student experience surveys across the world.

Why are some EU immigrant groups more disadvantaged on the German labor market than others? The role of the institutional and economic interplay between home and host country for transferring foreign human capital

Mr Andreas Damelang (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Mr Kevin Ruf (Institute for Employment Research (IAB))
Ms Anja Wunder (Institute for Employment Research (IAB))
Mr Florian Zimmermann (Institute for Employment Research (IAB)) - Presenting Author

This article investigates variation in labor market success among male skilled foreign-trained immigrants (FTIs) from the European Union based on the transferability of foreign human capital. Empirically, we address the occupational specificity of foreign human capital and its quality by considering institutional and economic characteristics of the home country. First, we expect occupation-specific training in the home country to increase labor market success for FTIs in the highly occupation-specific German labor market. As an indicator for occupational specificity, we use the proportion of upper secondary vocational trainees who participate in a dual training in a FTI’s home country. Second, we argue that the average quality of human capital is higher for immigrants from economically strong countries, resulting in higher labor market success in Germany. Economic strength is approximated by the GDP per capita in a FTI’s home country.
Using German Micro Census data from 2011 to 2014 enriched with indicators at the home-country level, we analyze male FTI from seven EU countries. Our results show a positive association between occupational specificity and the employment probabilities as well as wages. Regarding human capital quality, we find a positive association between economic strength and wages but no association with employment probabilities. Further analyses show that FTIs only benefit from occupation specific skills if they work in occupation specific jobs in Germany.
In summary, the institutional and economic interplay between the home country and the host country can partially explain the variation in labor market success across EU skilled immigrant groups based on transferability of foreign human capital. Our research highlights that a general labor market integration process for all migrant groups cannot address inequalities between groups. Instead, policymakers should provide modular further training aligned with the education system in the country of origin to reduce inequalities.

VET in Germany the last decade: demographic change, skill shortages and growing frictions

Miss Leonie Wicht (IAB)
Miss Anna Heusler (IAB) - Presenting Author
Miss Anna Houstecka (IAB)
Professor Bernd Fitzenberger (IAB)

Firm-based vocational training reflects the demand for skilled labor in Germany and firms increasingly face difficulties to fill their vacancies for apprentices. We describe the developments in the VET market in terms of applicants, vacancies and matches between 2008 and 2021 and study the mechanisms behind these. While the number of posted vacancies have been on the rise, total matches have been decreasing over time, pointing to a change from a supply-driven to a demand-driven market. We show that the main driver of this pattern is demographic change while changes in young adults‘ interests in VET play a smaller role. In particular, over time there is an increasing number of individuals with high-school degrees and university who enter the VET market in a delayed fashion. Thus, the tendency for higher education does not seem to crowd out the VET market. Next, we study the role of regional and occupational mismatches by using disaggregated data for Germany. To this end, we estimate matching functions using both data for the total number of matches and those mediated by the employment agency. We find that matching efficiency does not change in the years between the financial and Covid crises and drops during the crisis years.

The Gender-Specific Role of Mobility in the Realization of Graduates’ Career Expectations

Mr Jonas Detemple (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training) - Presenting Author

Towards the end of higher education, graduates are faced with a far-reaching decision about which career path to follow. Since mobility can be seen as an investment in access to a wider range of jobs (Becker, 1962), we argue that mobility facilitates the match between expectations and actual career paths. Moreover, research points to a gendered role of mobility by showing that men benefit more career-wise from commuting and moving than women (Nisic, 2009; Shauman & Noonan, 2007). So we ask: how do male and female graduates use mobility to realize or exceed their career expectations?

We test our assumptions using data from the German National Education Panel, Starting Cohort 5 (Blossfeld & Roßbach, 2019). Based on the locations of secondary school, higher education, and first job, we measure whether graduates stayed in the region of their study (reference category), moved to a new region, or moved back to their hometown (NUTS-3 level). We capture realization of career expectations by comparing the first job with expectations during studies (KldB, 2010). If expectations were not realized, we consider whether the job has a higher, similar or lower status than the expected one (ISEI, 2008). Multinomial logistic regression models are used to predict realization patterns.

Preliminary results show that for women, moving to a new region for the first job is associated with higher chances to exceed career expectations, whereas men’s and women’s realization chances remain unaffected. Simultaneously, moving back home after graduation is associated with lower exceeding chances for men and higher realization chances for women. Overall, the results suggest that men do not use mobility after graduation more career strategically than women. In the next step, contextual factors of the study region (such as the attractiveness of local labor markets) will be included in the analysis.