The Employer Panels Offer Feedback Regarding

The Employer Panels Offer Feedback Regarding

Principles for the appointment of employer panels at School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University


School of Business and Social Science wants to ensure an ongoing dialogue with the employers of the faculty’s graduates through the appointment of programme-specific employer panels. The primary role of the employer panels is to council the programme boards of studies and departments about questions regarding the programmes offered, including specific questions concerning the quality of the programmes and their relevance to the labour market.

The employer panels offer feedback regarding:

-The relevance and quality of the programme in question

-The development of degree programmes, course components, forms of instruction, examination and evaluations in light of the demands of the labour market and specific competence requirements in a national and international context

-Labour market demand for further and continuing education programmes

The employer panels are also incorporated in strategy development processes, especially focused on whether there is correlation between the number of students graduating from each programme and the demands of the potential labour market.

Composition and organisation

Pursuant to the University Act,the dean is responsible for ensuring that the faculty establishes an appropriate number of employer panels in consideration of the scope and nature of the faculty's degree programmes. An employer panel typically consists of 5 to 12 members depending on the scope of the disciplines covered and the programme board of studies’ area of responsibility. It is up to the given programme board of studies to propose the number of seats in the employer panel in question and to determine the most significant qualifications that the panel members must possess, and to assess whether there is a need for more panels to be established depending on the scope of the academic disciplines covered. The dean establishes and approves the size and composition of the panels.

The composition of the panel must be representative of the labour market relevant to the degree programme with which the panel are affiliated. It may be relevant to include members from several geographic areas, and it may also be relevant to include representatives from the international labour market, e.g. through the inclusion of international companies or organisation. In the appointment of the panel members, the development and trends in the labour markets should be taken into account, e.g. new sectors or industries, as they may affect graduate demand. Accordingly, a frequent turnover of panel members may be necessary. A notification stating the members of the panel will be published on the website.

The work of the employer panels is anchored in the relevant programme boards of studies, and the relevant heads of department and directors of studies must be represented at the meetings of the employer panel. On occasion and depending on the items on the agenda, it should be considered whether it is relevant for the entire programme board of studies or other players to participate in the meetings of the employer panel. Meetings are based on the mutual exchange of information and discussion.

Employer panel meetings are called as needed, but no less than once a year. The meetings may be scheduled to correlate with other events at BSS, e.g. the annual faculty celebration and other events.Minutes must be taken at every employer panel meeting and submitted to the Dean’s Office and to other relevant players at the department/departments and the board of studies.

In between meetings, if urgent cases or issues arise that are especially relevant for a specific part of the panel, the faculty, the departments and the degree programmes may seek advice from the panels or specific members either in writing or by telephone.

It may also be an option to supplement the employer panel with a larger and broader virtual panel, where communication with and between the members take place through online networks and email. It may be advantageous to use the virtual employer panel when fast and more direct feedback is needed, and the programme boards of studies and the departments can get input from the panel members online in connection with relevant discussions, questionnaires and so on. A virtual panel may also compensate for any lack of representatives in physical meetings of the smaller panel, and feedback from a virtual panel may also constitute a qualified basis for discussions of the physical panel.

The legal foundation for the employer panels is stated in the University Act section 13a.

13 a.-(1) The university establishes one or more employer panels composed of external members. Together, the members shall have experience with and insight into the degree programmes and the labour market for which they prepare graduates.
(2) The university ensures dialogue between the employer panel and the university about the quality of its degree programmes and their relevance to society, and includes the employer panel in the development of new and existing programmes and the development of new methods of teaching and evaluation.
(3) In addition to the responsibilities prescribed by the by-laws, the employer panels may issue statements and make recommendations to the university about all matters relating to the area of education. The employer panel must issue statements regarding all questions submitted to it by the university.
(4) The university may establish user panels under subsection (1) in collaboration with other universities.

/ School of Business
and Social Sciences
Aarhus University / Building 1327
Bartholins Allé 14
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark / Tel.: +45 8715 0000