The Inclusive Growth in Mozambique project is implementing a systematic study on the transition of university students from their studies into the labour market. I have had the opportunity to be part of the research team in this study where over two thousand final year students from six universities in Mozambique are being surveyed across all major study areas. Round one of the survey (the baseline survey) was conducted in 2017 and these preliminary results are now being published in September.
Why this Survey Matters
The baseline survey is the first step in a larger study, that will continue until the end of 2019. The main purpose behind the study, is to understand how, and if, the students transition from college into the labour market, focusing on aspects such as the amount of time it took to find employment, the best ways to search for employment, and the influence their degree had on the opportunities available to them in the labour market.
With the information from the whole study, we can better understand the labour market position of higher education graduates in Mozambique. This will make it possible to develop better labour policies that focus on specific issues such as unemployment, gender inequalities, wages, etc.
Furthermore, universities will have the chance to track the success of their programmes, compare themselves with other universities, and gain insight into the labour market. Other important benefits that can be gained are related to the information that future students will have access to about universities and their courses, as well as on the returns they can expect from a higher education.
The study can provide answers to some longstanding questions and define the direction of Mozambique's labour policy for years to come. Its importance to a developing country like Mozambique is unquestionable.
Being Part of the Process
The first round of the study, the baseline survey, was mainly done with tablets, during school hours, under the supervision of trained interviewers. The questionnaire included questions that capture student's information and their expectations on their future employment, wages etc., as well as their mathematical and grammatical abilities.
As an interviewer, I had the chance to interact with a diverse range of students from different Mozambican universities. Additionally, I was able to notice the small differences between students from different courses, universities, and even regions where the...