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Employers satisfied with work performance of local graduates

    Most employers were satisfied with the performance of local university and sub-degree graduates, according to the findings of an opinion survey commissioned by the Education and Manpower Bureau in respect of students who graduated from publicly-funded first degree and sub-degree programmes in 2003.

     "About 96% of the employers surveyed found the performance of first degree graduates average or above, including 18% who indicated that they were very satisfied," a government spokesman said today (June 19).

     "It shows that employers are very positive about the abilities of our local university graduates in the workplace," he said.

     The overall work performance score of the first degree graduates of the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions in this opinion survey is 3.58 on a five-point scale, meaning that they have already met the employers' required standard and sometimes have exceeded it.  It is an improvement over the previous survey conducted on graduates in 2000, in which the score was 3.51.

     For sub-degree graduates, the overall work performance score is 3.44 on a five-point scale, which is also better than that of the last survey on the 2000 graduates in which they scored 3.36.  About 93% of the surveyed employers considered the work performance of the sub-degree graduates as average or above, including 11% who were very satisfied with their performance.

     More than  960 companies, organisations and government bureaux/departments have responded to the survey, covering about 1,600 local first degree graduates and more than 600 sub-degree graduates.  Data were collected by questionnaires completed by the immediate supervisors of the sampled graduates.

     The survey sought to capture information on nine broad aspects of performance.  These are English language proficiency, Chinese language proficiency, work attitude, analytical and problem-solving abilities, numerical competency, information technology literacy, inter-personal skills, management skills and technical skills.

     The results show that first degree and sub-degree graduates perform well in the areas of English language proficiency, Chinese language proficiency, and work attitude, which are considered by employers as very important performance aspects.  The graduates perform best in information technology literacy.  Similar to the results of the previous survey, employers see room for improvement in the graduates' management skills.

     The survey also reveals that employers are keen to take part in helping tertiary institutions to improve their programmes.  About 60% of the respondents agree that institutions should enhance the relevance and quality of the undergraduate and sub-degree programmes by involving employers in curriculum development and arranging internship.

     "We will pass the findings of the survey to the UGC and the institutions concerned for their reference.  We hope that individual institutions will make the best use of these survey findings to better equip their graduates with the knowledge and skills considered important by employers, as well as for the all-round development of students," the spokesman said.

     "We consider the findings very useful in reflecting employers' opinion on the work performance of our local graduates.  They serve as important indicators of the quality of our higher education system.  We will continue to conduct similar opinion surveys on a regular basis," he added.

Ends/Monday, June 19, 2006
Issued at HKT 17:46