Summary of publication
Traces 275 returned scholarship awardees, and analyses employment data on 450 former awardees, and recommends changes to the Training and Scholarships Coordination Unit to improve future management and monitoring.
The tracer study selected a sample of 800 former scholars by approaching every government department, major institution and major private sector employer in Vanuatu, advertising in the local media, and sending emails to pick up other graduates (employed or unemployed). It obtained employment data on 450 former scholars (18 per cent of all awardees since around 1976), and completed surveys for 275 (11 per cent of all awardees). Observations in the study include: whilst a higher relative percentage of females graduated 1999-2009 than in the prior ten-year period, they are still under represented in the employment figures of the major employers of graduates; new opportunities are opening for graduate employment in business-related services and regulation; government departments remain the major employers of graduates, but others include law firms, accounting firms, the bigger banks, utility companies and statutory bodies; the number of graduates from Malekula and Ambae far outweighed those from other islands in the tracer study and the student reporting system database; scholars have continued to choose a similar range of subjects over the last ten years, despite a much wider range of available options; and accurately recording success and failure rates is an on-going problem as students do not want to disclose their results. The study says the Training and Scholarships Coordination Unit needs a full time information technology data officer to monitor and maintain scholar information, and to provide quarterly updates to inform scholarship policy and decisions.