The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) has developed and implemented an electronic Graduate Tracking System (GTS) in all Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) in West Bank and Gaza and at MOEHE to collect information about graduates and their transition and fitness into the labor market. GTS is an important component of the Education-to-Work Transition Project (E2WTP) financed by the World Bank and which aims to improve the quality and content of higher education programs and to bridge the gap between TEIs and the labor market.
GTS allows TEIs to design surveys and target them to specific student groups within the institution and to graduates who left the institution as well as major employers in the labor market to capture a variety of information and opinions including information as follows:
- Educational choices in terms of TEIs, degrees, courses and specializations;
- Post-graduation employment and how difficult/easy it was to find a job;
- Fitness between educational training and the skills needed in the job market;
- Suggestions regarding educational curricula, methods and specializations;
- Changes to career and professional choices after graduation.
The GTS allows MOEHE to design national surveys in collaboration with TEIs and distribute them to all TEIs to collect mandatory national information about TEIs, students and graduates. This information will be useful to TEIs and MOEHE as it will provide a national view of the education system, its integration with the labor market and the economy and highlight the areas that need development and improvement. In particular MOEHE has designed three mandatory surveys that were distributed to all TEIs to collect such information:
- Student Survey: aimed at students in the final year of their study before graduation.
- Graduate Survey: aimed at graduates one year after their graduation from the TEI.
- Employer Survey: aimed at local and international employers of Palestinian graduates.
GTS is a powerful tool for TEIs and MOEHE to inform educational policy makers. The tool is implemented at each TEI for use by the administrators and faculties of that institution for any special purpose that involves collection data through surveys. The system is integrated with a centralized GTS that is used for publishing national MOEHE surveys to institutions and to collect survey results from them. This will enable MOEHE to create a national historic database about students, graduates, employers and in the future staff working in TEIs.
The data collected by TEIs and the data collected nationally by MOEHE will be available for researchers in a variety of formats to enable the analysis of educational trends and to derive KPIs important for educational policy and program formulation. The tool could be used to assess the impact of specific programs or policies on the educational system and the labor market. The tool offers a number of standard reports based on metrics derived from the three MOEHE surveys, but administrators can design new KPIs and reports from the data or export the data in standard formats for analysis by external third party tools like SPSS.