This synthesis report analyses higher education (HE) provision and labour market opportunities in the Western Balkans by looking into four inter-related issues: the provision of HE, the current situation of the graduate labour market, the challenges facing graduates and employers on the labour market, and the skill mismatches that hinder graduate labour market integration. The report concludes with recommendations on measures needed to ensure the right mix of skilled graduates to support robust economic growth in the future, support graduate job search, and to encourage employers to create more graduate jobs and take on more skilled graduates.
The data used in the study was collected from March to August 2015. It includes two large-scale surveys: one among recent HE graduates (graduate survey – 4,602 respondents) and one among organisations that employ HE graduates (employer survey – 1,074 respondents). Semi-structured interviews were carried out with management staff of higher education institutions (HEIs), ministries, employers’ associations, and trade unions. A focus group was also carried out with Erasmus Mundus alumni. The project has assembled a unique database that covers details of most study programmes offered by HEIs in the Western Balkan country in recent years.