More European PSE institutions tracking students' and graduates' progress

August 27, 2012

An increasing number of European universities are tracking the progress of their students and graduates for a variety of purposes. Their initiatives remain largely uncoordinated, however, and the potential of the vast amounts of information they are collecting is not being fully exploited. These are among the findings of the Trackit project, a 2-year study that analyzed the approaches PSE institutions and governments in 31 European nations have used to follow people's progress during their time in university and beyond. Despite the absence of a coordinated continental effort and the lack of even a commonly agreed idea of what specifically tracking entails, the study has shown that most countries seem to be developing tracking programs. At least some PSE institutions in all but one of the 31 countries studied are doing some tracking, using the results for a range of purposes, such as the reform of study programs, student counselling, career advice, and quality assurance. In 23 of the nations studied, tracking is done on a regular basis at the national level, with the resulting information used for national statistics and analysis and policy planning, as well as in budget-allocation decisions by government agencies. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)