Linking higher education and the world of work: learning outcomes and intermediary organisations
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionElken, M. & Tellmann, S. M. (2019). Linking higher education and the world of work: learning outcomes and intermediary organisations. Journal of Education and Work, 32(8), 678-692. 10.1080/13639080.2019.1696951
Higher education institutions are increasingly expected to demonstrate the relevance of the education provided and establish tighter links with the labour market. The introduction of learning outcomes represents one such development. The article examines the extent to which various intermediary organisations are involved in decisions about learning outcomes and the consequences of this regarding the role of learning outcomes and their potential in linking higher education to the world of work. Intermediary organisations are operationalised as professional associations and trade unions. The empirical material includes data from interviews of 14 intermediary organisations with different ties to higher education. The findings show that organisations have distinctly different approaches to their involvement in learning-outcome development as well as different views on the potentials of learning outcomes as a legitimate instrument to increase the relevance of higher education. Instead of creating new links between higher education and the world of work, the processes of introducing learning outcomes reinforce existing collaboration patterns.