Enhancing employability skills through internships: perceptions of foreign Master students in Germany

A. Kapanen, S. Dressler, D. Edgar, T. Rachfall

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    63 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This paper investigates foreign management and engineering Master students’ perceptions of the effect of internships on their employability skills. It adapts the employability skills portfolio developed in the European OVPELO project and applies it in a survey of foreign students engaged in internships at German companies. The study explores the learning conditions, processes and outcomes in the nine employability skills areas of the OVPELO framework. The research explains the development of foreign student employability during internships. Furthermore, it aims at suggesting practices that students, educators and employers can apply to enhance the employability outcomes of internships.

    The research addresses the problem of disappointing employment outcomes among foreign university graduates in Germany. Surveys and statistics indicate that while three out of four foreign students desire to work in Germany after graduation, only one out of four graduates succeeds in entering full-time employment in Germany. The urgency of alleviating the problem of weak employability continues to grow with the growing proportion of foreign students at German universities: currently, foreign students represent 13 percent of all students and 20 percent of new enrolments.

    Internships during studies can make an important contribution to the development of graduate employability. In particular, foreign students may lack culturally adapted generic job market and workplace skills, which are given less attention than technical skills in higher education. Internships provide foreign students an opportunity to develop employability skills through easily accessible practical exposure in Germany.

    This study is conducted using a mixed-method design comprising a questionnaire survey and follow-up interviews. The research sample consists of foreign Master students at the HTW Berlin, University of Applied Sciences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationICERI2016 Proceedings
    PublisherIATED
    Pages1-10
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)978-84-617-5895-1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

    Publication series

    Name
    ISSN (Print)2340-1095

    Fingerprint

    foreign student
    employability
    internship
    student
    graduate
    learning prerequisite
    applied science
    Berlin
    employer
    workplace
    statistics
    educator
    engineering
    questionnaire
    university
    lack
    market
    interview
    management

    Keywords

    • graduate employability, international education, internships, Germany

    Cite this

    Kapanen, A. ; Dressler, S. ; Edgar, D. ; Rachfall, T. / Enhancing employability skills through internships: perceptions of foreign Master students in Germany. ICERI2016 Proceedings. IATED, 2016. pp. 1-10
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    doi = "10.21125/iceri.2016.1000",
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    Enhancing employability skills through internships: perceptions of foreign Master students in Germany. / Kapanen, A.; Dressler, S.; Edgar, D.; Rachfall, T.

    ICERI2016 Proceedings. IATED, 2016. p. 1-10.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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    AU - Edgar, D.

    AU - Rachfall, T.

    N1 - Acceptance email in SAN AAM: no embargo Earliest pub date - used last date of conference Publisher (IATED) has previously granted permission to use AAM for proceedings Exception email in SAN ^Exception status: author email in SAN; agreed no exception can be applied (library exception review, October 2018)

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