12.6 GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
•1 Academic guidance
Academic guidance and counselling are primarily provided to first cycle students and by private universities. For example, the South East European University at Tetovo offers a range of services in supporting and guiding of students. The private University American College Skopje (UACS) has an Academic Advising Center (AAC) which coordinates college advising and support that provides students at every level with the resources, instruction, and academic support they need to succeed (a network of academic advisers ready to assist students with degree decisions, course selection, and many other academic decisions).
UACS also has a Tutoring Assistance Student Club (TASC) that offers help to anyone trying to pass an exam and to students who are willing to learn and improve their grades through the help of their colleagues. For those who are willing to apply as tutors there is a reward of academic credits in return for their time spent tutoring and helping others.
Tutoring assistance to Roma university students studying at public and private universities is offered by the local civil society organization funded from the Roma Education Fund. The purpose of tutoring is to provide the necessary academic support to Roma students successfully mastering the syllabus and subject content, improving their learning outcomes, retention and completion rate.
•2 Psychological counselling
There is no psychological counselling provided at the Macedonian higher education institutions. The Univeristy “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bitola is the only public university that has psychological counselling, offering a professional, free mental health care service for its staff and students. During COVID-19 pandemic, some students and youth organizations provided online free psychological counselling to university students.
•3 Carrier guidance
According to Article 86 from the HE Law 2018 the university is obliged to establish at least one carrier center whose activity is determined with the Act enacted by the University Senate in accordance with the Statute of the University. The carrier center is expected to take care of alumni records, to organize career fairs, connect the students with the business and potential employers and assist their transition into their first work place as well as perform other activities according to the statute of the university. As a result of this legal provision, the universities have established carrier centers. Besides carrier guidance and information on employment opportunities, the centers also mediate between the companies’ request for internships and the students' interest in conducting practical classes.
Among the first HEIs that established career centers were the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Economics within the University Ss. Cyril and Methodius, the University “Goce Delcev”, Stip (public universities) as well as the South-East European University, the American College, the FON University (private universities). According to the Strategy of the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” Skopje 2019-2023, the university has concluded contracts for students’ internships with 507 companies/institutions in 2017/18.