About SAGE

Student Advancement of Graduates Employability (SAGE) is a pan-European project aimed at increasing the knowledge of the effects of European higher education reforms implementation on the graduates’ employability. SAGE also aims at enhancing the capacity of student representatives to take part in influencing and building policies designed to improve the rate of graduates employability at European, national and local level.

In order to build up this capacity, the project conducts extensive research on educational policies, engages with multiple stakeholders from both national and European level and offers a comprehensive training process to a number of students and other interested stakeholders representatives from across the continent.

SAGE project falls into the footsteps of several previous ESU-led projects looking at various aspects of educational policy and empowering student representatives to take a more active part in the governance of higher education institutions and the decision-making process with regards to national policies.

SAGE is also fully coherent with the main strategic documents and policies set by the European Union for the development of Higher Education in the next years, such as EU 2020 Strategy and the “Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training” (ET 2020)


SAGE addresses the following LLP Overall Objective:
• To help promote creativity, competitiveness, employability and the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit. The project aims at this objective by bringing stakeholders such as students at the forefront of governance initiatives aimed at improving the employability perspective of students upon graduation. It also offers a content background for this via its research activities, publications and policy recommendations.

Within this overall objective, SAGE addresses this LLP Specific Objective:
• To reinforce the contribution of higher education and advanced vocational education to the process of innovation. The project aims at this specific objective by empowering students to contribute to shifting higher education to an increased level of accountability and connectivity with society, in a fashion that does not reduce academic freedom, but that ensures the value of studies for students. This will, in the long run, contribute to a higher level of innovation within institutions, particularly in economically-linked areas that bring an added value to the economy as well

Activities and expected outcomes

SAGE has carried out a variety of activites to achieve its objectives, including:
• Creating a review of current educational policies in Europe, both in the Bologna and EU frameworks
• Identifying the links between educational policies and the employability of graduates and also long-term trends that are shaping graduate employability
• Consultation and inclusion of relevant stakeholders in drafting policy recommendations
• Developing a coherent analysis in countries with both poor and positive results in fighting graduate unemployment and identifying links between these results and policy processes
• Establishing contact with national-level stakeholders and including their views and input in a study and handbook dealing with the topic of employability
• Training at least eighty student representatives on employability policy and mechanisms

The main published outcomes of the project in terms its research activites are:
• The research study publication “Bologna with Students Eyes 2012”
• The research study “EU 2020 Student Review”
• The research study on “Graduates Employability in Europe”

Moreover, the project follows-up on these research components by creating:
• a training program for student representatives
• the publication of a handbook on graduates employability
• the dissemination of information via an interactive on-line platform

All the research material are used to make a series of policy recommendations that can contribute to university reforms aimed at improving the employability outlook for graduating students