Efforts to bridge the gap between businesses and the academic community have been successful, the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) said on Wednesday.
According to university data, a total of 88 students were placed across various businesses and organisations between 2019 and 2021, with their remuneration coming up to €44,000 in aggregate.
Moreover, 78 per cent of those students received additional payment on top of that amount, while 45 per cent of them were offered full-fledged professional contracts by their respective employer after their work experience had been completed.
The university’s enterprise liaison office stated that its key objective is to make students’ transition into the labour market a smoother process, explaining that the office ‘has succeeded in intensifying its communication with private businesses, allowing the university to both receive feedback on its curricula, as well as being able to offer students their first professional experience’.
“The liaison office’s strategic goal is to boost employment and maximise the employability of the university’s students, while also conveying the importance of the concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation to the students,” the university’s Charalambos Chrysostomou said during an event on November 19.
Tepak’s enterprise liaison office was formed in 2011 as a European Social Fund project, tasked with facilitating the university’s plan to encourage and cultivate synergies between the business world and the academic community.
Another key objective, according to the liaison office, is to improve and upgrade applied research and innovation through professional opportunities that facilitate the transfer of know-how and expertise.
Chrysostomou also outlined the many benefits students receive when pursuing and participating in work experience schemes.
“Students gain work experience related to the subject of their studies, while there’s also more substantial assimilation of scientific knowledge through application in real working conditions,” Chrysostomou said, adding that the experience also offers a smoother transition to where products or services are actually being produced.
Work experience also allows both students and employers to be introduced and become familiar with one another, opening up the possibility for the employer to permanently integrate the students into their workforce.
The event also emphasised the importance of converging and aligning the knowledge acquired by students during their studies with the skills that employers currently seek in young graduates. ‘This presupposes the effective connection of the education system with the labour market’, Tepak explained.
“The inclusion of subsidised work experience placements in university study programmes strengthens the connection of the academic community with the labour market, with multiple, mutual benefits for students, organisations and society as a whole,” the university added.