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 administrators 29.07.2021

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

Studying theory with professors in the classroom with scholarships while also earning money and gaining real-world experience in the workplace — that is dual education.

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

Dual education on a 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). This 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, followed by an analysis of results and prospects, and only after gradual changes in the higher education system can dual education become a full reality. According to the head of the Directorate of Professional and Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Science Oleh Sharov, dual education may fully replace part-time work programs in future.

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

“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 factors are necessary to develop dual education program:

  1. The University is able to reduce the theoretical program without losing quality and while still making it relevant to 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 the theory to be adapted to the practice. This is important for students because they learn from real examples, which will inspire them to study theory. Thanks to the dual form of education, students, together with employers (mentors), can alter study schedules and working hours.
  2. Employers are interested in teaching students while 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 be qualified for these vacancies because the employer is interested in the quality of work of all employees without exception and only pays for the work performed.
  4. Students should decide who they want to work for. There are cases when students may have not yet decided on their future profession and eventually change their minds, so it is necessary to pay attention to what students wants and what motivates them.
  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 in-house trainings for their employees so it is easier for them to adapt to working 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 dual education “Fiscal administration” master’s program ” – 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 education programs. However, there are still issues to resolve about the legal framework of cooperation between the parties.

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

Photo by Lukas from Pexels