The weak integration of economic growth and higher education in Europe in the last few decades is expressed, among other factors, by the fact that while the number of people obtaining higher education is growing, the gap between people’s knowledge and skills and the expectations of employment market is also increasing. The incompatibility exists both in vertical and horizontal dimensions. Some areas lack quality work force, some, on the other hand, have an overproduction of educated specialists by the education sector. The ideal of an education system fully matching the needs of an employment market is a noble and high goal to be sought after. At the same time, we must admit that a higher education system integrated completely to an employment market exists in no country.
The purpose of the cooperation project “Professional Higher Education in European Higher Education Area: outcomes, institutions and operating framework in 2020” is to analyse the current situation of the member organizations of the Estonian Rectors’ Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences, and to predict their future based on the institutions’ key performance indicators and on the interviews conducted with higher education experts.
The main goal of the project is to give an overview of the development of institutions of professional higher education (PHE), to analyse the nature of the diversification of higher education focusing primary on PHE in Europe and to propose the possible interactions and cooperation models of development of professional higher education institutions and to improve the competitiveness of higher education in Estonia.