Skills beyond school

OECD-France Seminar The Labour Market Orientation of Tertiary Education in France and in OECD Countries: Assessment and Prospects


OECD-France Seminar

The Labour Market Orientation of Tertiary Education
in France and in OECD countries: Assessment and Prospects

14 February 2007

Amphithéâtre Poincaré
Site Descartes
Ministère de l’éducation nationale,de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche
25 rue de la Montagne
Sainte Geneviève
Paris 5ème

Practical Information | Background Documentation  | .pdf version 

This seminar proposes to take stock of the labour market orientation of tertiary education in France and in OECD countries, concentrating on the following aspects: vocational and employment oriented educational offerings and study paths; accompanying information framework (information on labour market outcomes, career guidance, etc); links with the business sector; insertion of graduates into the labour market; and new challenges related to globalisation.

The meeting will aim to:

  • take stock of the situation in France and in other OECD countries;
  • compare the perspectives and prospects in various contexts;
  • discuss the labour market orientation of tertiary education in a foresight and forecast perspective.

The seminar is co-organised by the French Ministère de l’éducation nationale, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche and the OECD, within the framework of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and the Innovation’s (CERI) project on the future of higher education. Exchanges between French and international experts and decision makers will nourish a forward looking reflection on the possible strategic choices that could reinforce the links between tertiary educational systems and the labour market and strengthen the economic and social role of tertiary education in France and in other OECD countries.

The working languages will be French and English (with simultaneous interpretation).

To register for this event contact Nadine Prost ( by February 2nd. OECD delegates should ask their delegations to the OECD to register them via EMS. Please note that for security and logistical reasons all participants must register.


Provisional agenda

The morning will consist of drawing up a critical assessment of vocational tertiary education and the labour market orientation of tertiary education during the period of expansion of tertiary education in France and in three OECD countries, while pointing towards future challenges. The session will tackle the questions of the organisation of programme offerings, of the division of labour within tertiary education systems, as well as those of the accompanying framework (information, transfer, recognition, etc.). The presentations and the discussions will make it possible to take stock of short and long-term vocational training in terms of labour market outcomes and of the reinforcement of links between tertiary education and the economic sector. The first session of the morning will relate primarily to France, and the second on the experience of the other OECD countries.

Among the questions that might be considered:

  • How effective is vocational higher education as a means to professional integration?
  • How to strengthen the links between the labour market and tertiary education within different types of systems?
  • What impact has information on available labour market outcomes of different programmes or fields had on supply and demand in tertiary education?
  • What are the social implications of these changes, in particular in terms of equity and cohesion
  • What is the impact of the Bologna process on short higher education programmes?
  • How does globalisation modify the role that tertiary education plays in countries’ economic strategy?
  • How does the international pressure towards harmonisation of professional qualifications transform professional higher education?
  • How do different types of labour markets and of arrangements in professional tertiary education favour or hinder lifelong learning?


9.00-9.30: Welcoming the participants

9.30-9.45: Introductory remarks

  • Jean-Marc Monteil, Director General of Higher education, Ministère de l’éducation nationale, France
  • Barbara Ischinger, Director, Directorate for Education, OECD

9.45-11.00: Vocational tertiary education and the labour market orientation of general tertiary education: assessment and prospects

  • The labour market orientation of university programmes in France:
    • Jean-Marc Monteil (Director General of Higher education, France)
  • New study and career guidance frameworks in France:
    • Pierre Lunel (Interministerial Delegate for study and career guidance, France)
  • Respondents:
    • William Thorn (Australia) and Ilkka Turunen (Finland)


11.00-11.30: Coffee

11.30-13.00: Vocational tertiary education and the labour market orientation of general tertiary education: assessment and prospects (continued)


  • Strengthening the links between higher education and the labour market in Spain:
    • Maria Jesus San Segundo (Ambassadress to UNESCO, former Minister of Education, Spain
  • The changing role of US community colleges in higher education and in workforce development:
    • Tom Bailey (Director, Community College Research Center, Columbia University, United States)
  • The labour market and the Danish tertiary education system
    • Peder Michael Sørensen (Head of division, Ministry of Education, Denmark) Respondent: Michel Quéré (Director of CEREQ, France)


13.00-14.30: Buffet lunch (offered by the French Ministry)

14.30-16.15: Future challenges for the labour market orientation of tertiary education

What are the future challenges related to the labour market orientation of tertiary education and how to tackle them? This session will concentrate on the projected changes in the labour market and the economy in OECD countries and tertiary education systems will have to adapt to them. Drawing on the morning’s discussion, this session will consider the issue from a foresight and forecast perspective within the framework of globalisation and the internationalisation of tertiary education. Using the OECD futures scenarios on tertiary education systems, several possible scenarios linking tertiary education to the labour market could be discussed both on the national and international levels. Based on their degree of autonomy, decentralisation, internationalisation and the presence or not of a dual system of training, future prospects of tertiary education systems might indeed be different. The discussion will tackle this question in a quantitative and qualitative way.

Among the questions which could be addressed:

  • Do OECD countries produce adequate numbers of tertiary education graduates compared to the estimated needs of the labour market?
  • Are the changes in the types of competences required by the labour market adequately reflected in the curriculum of tertiary education?
  • What are the necessary changes in the number of graduates in different fields in order to meet the projected labour market demand?
  • How to strengthen the links between tertiary education and the labour market while continuing to carry out the other missions of higher education?
  • How might the new gender balance in graduation match and impact on the gender structure of the labour market in different countries?
  • How do and might labour markets characteristics structure tertiary education systems?


  • Claude Sauvageot (Directorate for foresight and evaluation (DEPP), Ministère de l’éducation nationale, France
  • Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin (Education Analyst, CERI, OECD)

Round table and Discussion

  • Elie Cohen (Adviser on higher education, DREIC, France)
  • Daniel Munich (Higher education adviser to the Minister, Czech republic)
  • Teresa Patricio (Adviser to the Secretary of state for higher education and science, Portugal)
  • Nicole Primmer (Senior Policy Manager, BIAC)


16.15: Conclusion

  • Daniel Vitry, Director, Directorate for foresight and evaluation, Ministère de l’éducation nationale, France
  • Tom Schuller, Head of CERI, OECD 16.30: Close of meeting

16.30: Close of meeting


Practical Information

This meeting will begin at 9am and end at 4:30pm and will take place at the following address (see map):
Carré des Sciences
Amphithéatre Poincaré
25 rue de la Montagne Sainte Genviève
75005 Paris

This is in the 5th arrondissement, the nearest metro stop is Maubert Mutualité or Cardinal Lemoine (line 10), but you can also access it easily from other stops (e.g. Luxembourg). You are welcome to stay near either venue. Keep in mind that the 5th arrondissement is very central, near the Quartier Latin, Notre Dame, ile St. Louis etc., for those of you who wish to enjoy the more charming aspects of Paris during your stay.

Here is a link to Paris hotels

Here is a link to the RATP (public transportation) website which has interactive maps of the metro and bus lines of Paris:

Background documents



Related Documents


OECD Country Website - France


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