Column : Employers begin favouring Asian universities

Nov 06 2012, 01:12 IST
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SummaryAnd pass-outs from top Chinese institutions start becoming the most sought-after by global businesses.

Potential graduates watch out for rankings of universities for determining their preferences. But there is little research on the employability of these graduates once they pass out. If getting a good job is one of the most, if not the most important objective of a graduate qualification, which university and institute pass-outs are most valuable for employers?

The 2012 Global Employability Survey prepared by Emerging, a French consulting firm, and Trendence, a German research institute specialising in human resource recruitment, has some interesting findings on the premium attached to graduates in the job market. The survey has a bottom-up approach. Instead of identifying universities and asking industries to rank their preferences for pass-outs from these places, a large sample of recruiters, CEOs and business managers were asked to select the universities and institutes from where they prefer choosing their recruits.

Some of the results are expected. Graduates from top-notch universities and business schools in the US and Europe are among the favourites of employers. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Columbia and Princeton from the US, and Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College from the UK feature in the top 10. The US and Europe dominate the 150 universities and business schools reflected in the employability survey.

What is interesting is the steady emergence of some Asian universities among the favourites. And within these universities, the Chinese appear to be taking major strides.

The Peking University just misses the top 10 and is ranked 11th. The Fudan University is placed at the 28th. Further down, Shanghai Jiao Tong University is ranked 44th, while Tsinghua University is at 84.

Looked at in a country-specific view for Asia, Japan has three universities in the top 100: Tokyo Institute of Technology (14), University of Tokyo (23) and Kyoto University (47). Waseda University, Keio University, Osaka University and Hitotsobashi University feature in the overall list. The National University of Singapore (36) and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (44) are among the top 50. The sole Indian institute in the top 50 is the Indian Institute of Science (35). The Indian School of Business (148) just makes the list.

Results of surveys are always influenced by their design and composition. No doubt, the present one has also been similarly influenced. Notwithstanding these caveats, some trends are unmistakable.

Asian universities are increasingly becoming favourites of employers. And among these, the Chinese universities are shaping well. These universities are not only giving stiff competition to

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