A Blog by CRMMARC
Vocational schools, colleges and universities are slowly transforming into coaching institutions, whereas the actual learning and knowledge transfer is more and more taking place within internship companies, or at the job. Therefore, the relationships with companies and the labor market become very strategic. A logical effect is that many institutions are wondering how they can use the external relations they build to contribute to their primary goal: delivering successful students to society.
In some cases the institutions try to enforce certain benefits from companies, by making (almost) commercial deals. I for instance once had a conversation with a university that had 17,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff. 20,000 people, who populated 12 locations on an almost daily basis. The director I was talking to made a quick calculation. “20,000 people who all drink at least two cups of coffee a day. I think we are good for at least 4 million cups of coffee per year”, he said. “And you know what?”, he continued. “We purchase all that coffee at one single company, who happen to have their headquarters in this very city.”. And then he asked me: “Could you explain to me why it is so hard for us to place students or internships with them? Or why they still not involve and hire us to do their in-house training programs?”.
“Maybe you should threat them that you might go and buy your coffee elsewhere”, I tried. But then the director said: “I think if I would do that, they might indeed take on some more interns. But I will never be able to enforce them good guidance of these students. Therefore, one needs an intrinsic motivation, which most commercial organizations don’t allow their employees to follow”. And finally he added: “And that is exactly why schools will always be needed next to companies for people to learn and grow”.