Summary of the Doctoral Thesis "Tūrisma nozares darba tirgū aktuālās profesionālās kompetences attīstība augstākajā izglītībā" cover

Tūrisma nozares darba tirgū aktuālās profesionālās kompetences attīstība augstākajā izglītībā

Summary of the Doctoral Thesis

Agita Doniņa, Riga Technical University, Latvia

The topicality of the Doctoral Thesis “Development of Professional Competence in Higher Education Topical for the Tourism Industry Labour Market” was determined by the necessity to improve Latvian higher education to enhance the employability of graduates. The objective of the Doctoral Thesis is to form an approach to the continuous development of curricula, which would be based on the assessment of the importance of specific knowledge and skills required in the tourism industry labour market and the opportunities for their development in the higher education, thus providing students with opportunities to raise their professional competencies in line with the demands of the labour market.

The theoretical chapters of the study consist of a comprehensive analysis of scientific literature and documents on the constituent parts of professional competence – knowledge and skills, as well as the essence of curricula and models developed for their improvement. The Thesis includes a thorough analysis of the essence of extracurricular study activities and an assessment of their practical application. The empirical part is formed by seven research stages assessing consecutively the requirements of the tourism industry labour market as well by an evaluation of the compliance of higher education curricula. The main outcomes reflect professional competencies required in the tourism industry labour market, the current state of affairs in the higher education curricula as well as reveal the discrepancy between the needs of employers in the tourism industry and the professional competencies developed by graduates of higher education institutions.

The approach of a continuous development of curricula involving the development of a systemic and consecutive formation and perfection of curricula has been worked out on the basis of the acquired results. The approach provides for continuous development of curricula, therefore making it possible for students to develop topical professional competencies in the tourism industry. The curriculum design contained in the approach provides an opportunity to develop the professional competency required in the industry not only in the main components established by normative acts but also in the additional components of the design formed by extracurricular study activities and cooperation with the industry.

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