The Kick-off Meeting of the MONGWBL project

The Kick-off Meeting of the “Work-based learning for higher education system in Mongolia towards better employability of university graduates” (MONGWBL) project to increase the employment of graduates took place online on February 22-23, 2021.

Out of a total of 1,032 projects submitted to the European Union's Erasmus Plus Higher Education Capacity Building Project, 164 projects were selected for funding, including the “Introduction of Work-Based Learning” project proposed by the Otgontenger University project team to increase employment.

The meeting was attended by Enkhzaya N., Rector of Otgontenger University, Enkh-Amgalan L., Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia, Traian Hristea, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Mongolia, Philippe Merlin, Ambassador of France to Mongolia, Jorn Rosenberg, Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany to Mongolia, and rectors and professors of Mongolian, German, French, Romanian and Greek universities participated.

During the meeting, Ambassadors emphasized that the employment status of graduates is one of the most important indicators of the quality of the university and the project aims to increase the employment of university graduates, and expressed their support and cooperation.

According to the Minister of Education and Science, only 40% of university graduates are currently employed in professional fields. In fact, the rapid development of science and technology requires the creation of a more flexible education system to provide emerging professions and related skills, and the ability to develop the general skills to apply professional knowledge to rapidly changing needs and to be able to put into practice the professional skills required for a particular job. Let's produce such a product that is competitive in the world and can meet the demand for jobs in the labor market. The higher education institution will be evaluated and supported by the students and their employment after graduation. The project not only sets a new standard for strengthening partnerships between enterprises and universities, but also creates a new legal framework for on-the-work-based learning and a flexible apprenticeship model in the higher education sector. At the end, he expressed that Ministry of Education and Science will support for the project with universities.

Enkhzaya N. Rector of Otgontenger University, said that the employment rate of university graduates is insufficient, and many studies have shown that one of the reasons for the failure of many graduates to find a job is their professional level and skills do not directly meet employers' needs. There are changes and reforms in all spheres of society today, therefore higher education institutions are required to acquire the skills and competencies needed to build a knowledge-based. These show that one of the key indicators for the sustainable development of the higher education system is the ability of graduates to survive in society. She highlighted that the project is timely and it will lay the foundation for the creation of an innovative education system in the higher education system of Mongolia, increase the employment of graduates, and make a significant contribution to strengthening enterprises and universities cooperation.

Pierre-Yves Lucas, Head of the cooperation department, European Union Delegation to Mongolia, said that I am very happy to acknowledge that priorities of this project is falling under one of 4 priority areas of the Delegation of the European Union to Mongolia, which is support to employment creation.  MONGWBL project is focusing on the urgent need for enhancing partnership between enterprises and higher education institutions (HEIs) and increase graduates’ employability through development and implementation of supporting national strategy, appropriate legal framework on work-based learning (WBL) and flexible apprenticeship model in Mongolia.

The Ambassador of France to Mongolia, Philippe Merlin, emphasized that Employment is a priority in today's society. It's great to have a project that connects graduates and work.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Mongolia, Jörn Rosenberg, said that skilled young people will play the most important role in strengthening the economy. That is why it is an important step for Mongolia's universities and enterprises to join forces with experienced EU universities to overcome the challenges facing the labor market and make a new breakthrough in Mongolia's education sector.
The project will be implemented by 13 partners from Mongolian, French, German, Greek and Romanian universities and enterprises. The European Union's partners include Lumiere Lyon 2 in France, the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany, the University of Macedonia in Greece, the University of Transylvania in Brasov, Romania, and the Association for Tourism without Borders in France. The project's domestic partners include Otgontenger University, the Ministry of Education and Science, the University of Finance and Economics, the University of Life Science, the Mongolian University of Culture and Arts, Dornod University, the Mongolian Tourism Association, the State Bank, and Golomt Bank.

We hope that in the future, many universities will participate in EU projects and programs, work together for the development of education and expand their cooperation.