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    Graduate Education Leaders Issue Global Statement on Career Outcomes for Students
    September 28, 2011

    Belle Woods
    (202) 223-3791


    The University of Hong Kong
    Anna Wong, Graduate School
    (852) 2517-6382 


    Hong Kong (September 28, 2011) – Higher education leaders from 16 countries agreed today to a statement of principles to strengthen and create pathways from graduate school to careers.


    The agreement was reached after discussions at the Fifth Annual Strategic Leaders Global Summit, “Career Outcomes for Graduate Students: Tracking and Building Pathways,” jointly sponsored and hosted by the U.S.-based Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and The University of Hong Kong (HKU). The Global Summit is an annual event designed to promote international best practices on a pressing topic in master’s and doctoral education.


    The focus on career outcomes was prompted by several parallel trends:


    • Academic institutions are seeking to enhance the professional skills and career outcomes of graduate students due to increasing student demand for career development opportunities.
    • Governments are working to strengthen the link between graduate training and workforce development in the competitive global economy.
    • Employers are joining national and global conversations about skills needed to succeed and expectations they have for graduates.


    Many universities have begun developing their own methods of tracking graduates’ career pathways and to establish programs that prepare students to adapt to new and evolving career demands.  The summit featured sessions on creating institutional cultures that value career and professional development, defining new areas of professional skill, the role of programs and faculty in supporting student careers, global trends shaping careers and professional needs, and opportunities for global collaboration.


    "Thirty-five university and graduate school leaders have come together at this Summit to provide a much-needed roadmap for supporting the next generation of leaders and practitioners in our knowledge-based society,” said Professor Paul K.H. Tam, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research) and Dean of the Graduate School at The University of Hong Kong. “It is timely and exciting for the University of Hong Kong, which is celebrating her first 100 years of  existence, to co-host this important international forum with the Council of Graduate Schools.”


    During the final session, participants reached consensus on a set of principles intended to serve as a framework for establishing and exchanging best practices in tracking career outcomes for graduate students and enhancing their preparation for a wide variety of careers, both in the participants’ home countries and via international networks.


    “Once again, the Global Summit has yielded a diverse set of best practice strategies that will inspire new efforts to enhance the experiences of (post)graduate students,” stated CGS President Debra Stewart. “While there are significant differences among national and regional approaches to enhancing career outcomes for (post)graduate students, this year’s summit participants have demonstrated strong collective support for initiatives that make career preparation a more integral part of graduate education.”


    The 35 participants included deans and other leaders of graduate schools and representatives of national and international associations devoted to graduate education. Along with Hong Kong and the United States, the countries represented were: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, and South Korea.


    The Principles, guidelines for organization practice, are attached.


    Previous Strategic Leaders Global Summits focused on international collaboration in graduate education (Banff, 2007 and San Francisco, 2009) promoting scholarly and research integrity (Florence, 2008); and measuring quality in graduate education and research (Brisbane, 2010). A report based upon the proceedings will be forthcoming in 2012.

    About CGS

    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of over 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. Among U.S. institutions, CGS members award 92% of the doctoral degrees and 77% of the master’s degrees.* The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.


    About The University of Hong Kong (HKU)

    The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is Hong Kong’s oldest university.  As an English-medium university with a history that stretches back 100 years, it has grown with and helped shape the city from which it takes its name.


    Today, HKU is recognized internationally as a dynamic and comprehensive university of world-class standing.  With its distinguished excellence in research and outstanding performance in teaching, it attracts first-class teaching and research staff and brilliant students from around the world.


    HKU is ranked as Asia’s best university by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2011, and as 21st in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in 2010-11.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.