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'Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion', W. Edwards Deming

The capacity to collect, process and draw relevant conclusions from different sources data is vital to developing effective policies.

Good policy making requires good data and good data analysis. The capacity to collect, process and draw relevant conclusions from different sources data is vital to developing effective policies, and vital to the all-important feedback loop between implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and policy adjustment and review. And the area of education, training and skills is no exception.

In cooperation with the Central Asia Education Platform, the European Training Foundation has been working for many years with partners in the countries of Central Asia to develop their capacity to use data and evidence to improve the effectiveness of their education and training policies.

A key element in this, is the ability of educational institutions to know what happens to their students after they graduate. How successful have they been in finding a job? Have they gone on to further study? Have they found a work corresponding to the type and level of their studies? Have their studies prepared them well for working life? These are some of the question schools, colleges and universities need answers to if they are to be able to adapt their teaching to the future needs of students and the labour market.

Graduate tracer studies - an important tool for getting answers to these questions – were the focus on a workshop, organised jointly by the Central Asia Education Platform and ETF in Bishkek on 10-12 December 2018. Participants from four Central Asian countries spent three days in working together in teams carrying out practical exercise based on real-life case studies focusing on different aspects of the process from survey design and data collection, to data analysis and communication of the results.

Besides the experience of the host country, Kyrgyzstan, best practice from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as Latvia and Poland came under the spotlight.

Participant appreciated the quality and relevance of the workshop activities. In the words of Mr Nusiratjon Norov, Director of the Tashkent Construction and Communal College in Uzbekistan said: “Very relevant content and working methods of this seminar will help me in my work”.