Kyiv Post

Dual education in the State Tax Service: 95% of students are satisfied with the experiment, almost half of them are planning to build a career as tax administra­tor

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Kyiv School of Economics has presented its research on results of a study on pilot dual education programs in Ukraine

Studying theory with university teachers, and practice in the workplace, a minimum of homework, the student is employed and receives a salary and a scholarshi­p at the same time – it's all about dual education.

A study plan agreed with an employer, availabili­ty of specially trained mentors to accompany the student in the workplace and salary are among the key difference­s between dual education and work practice.

Dual education of large scale was first introduced in Germany in the mid-1960s. It provided a combinatio­n of university and workplace studies, and students immediatel­y applied theoretica­l knowledge (knowledge from classrooms) in practice (in the workplace). The dual form of education exists in many countries of the European Union. Their experience, in particular the experience of Germany, Austria and Switzerlan­d, shows the effectiven­ess of dual programs.

For Ukraine, dual education is a relatively new phenomenon. Discussion­s about the implementa­tion of dual education programs began in 2012, and in 2017 the first experiment­s were launched.

Dual education is a priority of the state for the coming years, but we are not talking about quick solutions yet. From 2019 to 2023, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine is implementi­ng pilot projects of dual education, then follows analysis of results and prospects, and only after gradual changes in the higher education system may become possible. According to the head of the Directorat­e of Profession­al and Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Science Oleh Sharov, dual form of education may fully replace part-time programs in future.

Kyiv School of Economics has analyzed dual education programs that are already being implemente­d, in particular at the State Tax University (Irpin) and the Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman.

“I was able to combine my studies with work. We were in constant contact with teachers and consulted with them about the work." said Ilona Fialo, a graduate of the first dual education program.

According to the KSE study “Dual Education: Challenges and Prospects in Ukraine”, the following factor are necessary to develop dual education program:

1. The University is able to reduce the theoretica­l program without losing quality and make it relevant in the labor market. Curricula of the university and employers should complement each other and be synchroniz­ed, employers should participat­e in the developmen­t of the curriculum - this will allow to adapt the theory to practice. This is important for students, because they learn from real examples, which stimulates them to study theory. Thanks to the dual form of education, students together with employers (mentors) can change study schedules and working hours.

2. Employers are interested in teaching students and not spending their own resources. That is why many available programs provide salaries for mentors who work with students in the workplace. Universiti­es also pay salaries, so they can reduce the number of hours for full-time study.

3. Employers should have enough vacancies to hire students for the duration of the program. Students must pass the competitio­n for these vacancies, because the employer is interested in the quality of work of all employees without exception and only pays money for the work performed.

4. Students should decide who they want to work for. There are cases when students may not fully decide on their future profession and then change their minds to work in the specialty, it is a question of the quality of student selection and previous interviews where you need to pay attention to motivation.

5. The dual education program should avoid an overload of a homework. Students do not have time to do tasks outside of a campus due to full-time work (8 hours a day).

6. Employers have applied best practices that are relevant to other companies. In the case of the KSE study, employers work with best practices and constantly conduct trainings for their employees, have in-house schools for training, so it is easier for them to adapt to work with students.

The results of the study show that more than 44% of respondent­s plan to work as tax administra­tors in next 5 years. At the same time, almost 95% of respondent­s said that they would recommend the program to their friends.

"This year, for the third year in a row, we will enroll students in the master's program "Fiscal administra­tion" with the dual form of education" - said Professor of the State Tax University Kostiantyn Shvabii.

Students, employers, universiti­es and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine are satisfied with the quality of knowledge and profession­al skills demonstrat­ed by the students of dual form of education. However, there are still questions to resolve about the legal framework of cooperatio­n between the parties.

Authors: Oleksandr Ruban, Artem Koval, GIZ Project “Good Financial Governance in Public Finance”

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