Can Short-Term Program Really Enhance Students' Employability?

Abstract

As the world becomes more complexed and diversified, universities face growing needs of students to improve their employability in a globally competitive labor market. Simultaneously, mounting expectations of industries urge higher education to provide more opportunities for students to gain international perspectives, problem-solving skills, and technology-oriented mindset. How should the universities deal with these demands? 
Education abroad may be the simplest answer to the question. Yet, a spiraling cost of education often prevents students from investing on a longer term of studying abroad, and many end up with short-term language or cultural exploration programs. One way to approach this issue is to develop a short-term program compatible to the long-term by adding extensive activities that are carefully designed to increase the employability.  
In this presentation, international educators in Japan, Germany and Vietnam will provide an overview of three different project-based short-term programs. The programs are unique in a sense that internet-based communication and on-line materials play a key role in connecting students across the globe for collaborative projects. The presentation concludes with a report of study conducted with participants in these programs where elements related to their perceived enhancement of employability are identified and analyzed.