From our labour market outcome surveys, Högskolekvalitet, we have learned that approximately 64% of tertiary education students have entered qualified employment within one year of graduation. A well-functioning matching process between student’s skills and what businesses and other employers seek in prospective employees is of critical importance, not only for students and businesses. The HEIs, taxpayers and the national economy in general will benefit when matching functions well. In light of this, we cannot be satisfied when matching helps only six of ten graduates.
This synthesis report clearly demonstrates that the degree of business-university collaboration or third mission activities that students can participate in during their degree programme significantly affects the labour market outcomes and the matching. A high level of third mission activities increases the likelihood that graduates enter qualified employment, get employed sooner after graduation, receive higher starting salaries and are more satisfied with their education programme.
As competition for graduates is increasing, well considered and implemented third mission activities as part of a degree program should provide a competitive advantage for any higher education institution (HEI) or any programme they provide. The HEI (or programme) that can show a well-established and relevant form of third mission activities should be able to attract more and better students.
The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise therefore calls for legislative reform to promote third mission activities. Although the immediate need can only be filled locally by each HEI or degree programme, the national government can also do more to promote more third mission activities, including changing the resource allocation system for tertiary education. To this end we previously published our comprehensive reform proposals in our report "A new system for financing higher education".