Sustainability, Vol. 12, Pages 680: Towards Sustainability in University Education. Improving University Graduates Chances of Employability by Participation in a High Achievement Academic Program (Sustainability)
This piece of research focusses on the sustainable development goal (SDG) number four of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: quality education. The main objective of this research was to determine whether introducing a High Achievement Academic Program (ARA Groups) at a Spanish public university could enhance its graduates’ employability. According to the existing scientific literature, some variables related to the students’ accomplishments during college are good predictors of future employability: academic performance, participation in international exchanges, and participation in traineeships. In the empirical part of this research, our objective was to compare, using descriptive and bivariate statistical analysis, the behavior of the students of the ARA Groups and the regular ones, regarding a set of variables related to the above-mentioned predictors of employability. The outcomes allow us to conclude that ARA students performed academically better and that they participated more in international exchanges. Participation in business internships did not present significant differences, although ARA students scored higher in the employers’ assessment of the internship. Our results suggest that graduates of this program will be more sought-after by companies, and therefore it contributes positively to one of the key objectives of quality higher education, which is employability, and hence to sustainable development.