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Graduate unemployment, higher education access and success, and teacher production in South Africa

Van Broekhuizen, Hendrik (2016-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the context of South Africa’s socio-economic challenges, Higher Education (HE) has a key role to play, not just in terms of producing su cient numbers of graduates and the scarce skills that are required for economic development and growth, but also in terms of providing opportunities for social mobility and restitution. This dissertation examines the extent to which the public HE system ful ls these roles by investigating three topics within the nexus between the secondary schooling system, HE, and the labour market in South Africa. Chapter 2 of the dissertation investigates graduate unemployment by focussing on the associations between HE institutions and the expected employment and unemployment outcomes for graduates from di erent race groups. Using a probabilistic approach to link labour force and HE data, the chapter estimates the associations between the probability of having graduated from a particular type of HE institution and the likelihood of being unemployed or employed. The results indicate that graduate unemployment in South Africa is neither high, nor rising rapidly over time and that much of the observed inter-racial variation in graduate unemployment rates may be explained by di erences in the types of HE institutions that di erent race groups have historically been likely to attend. Chapter 3 investigates HE access and success in the Western Cape, with speci c emphasis on the roles that demographics, academic performance, and school-level factors play in explaining the extent of, and the differentials in, HE participation and throughput among matric learners in the province. By explicitly linking learner records from matric examination data with student records from HE data, the chapter estimates the marginal contributions and relative importance of various pre-entry correlates and HE-level factors for observed HE outcomes among learners in the Western Cape and illustrates the respective roles that HE access rate and HE throughput rate di erentials play in explaining observed racial di erentials in HE graduations. The ndings reveal that HE access, throughput, and dropout rates are strongly correlated with matric performance and that much of the observed racial di erentials in HE access and dropout in theWestern Cape can be explained by di erences in matric performance levels between race groups. It is argued that the persistent HE completion rate premiums for White students may partly be driven by di erential conditional selection into HE. Lastly, Chapter 4 focusses on the production of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) graduates by the public HE system between 2004 and 2013 and its implications for teacher supply in South Africa. Using aggregate Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) data, the chapter provides a comprehensive descriptive analysis of the trends and underlying correlates of rst-time enrolments and graduations in ITE programmes. Despite the fact that enrolments and graduations in ITE programmes have risen signi cantly since 2004, the ndings suggest that South Africa is currently not producing su cient numbers of teacher graduates. Projections indicate that the system could begin to produce su cient numbers of graduates to satisfy projected teacher demand within the next decade, conditional on current enrolment growth and programme throughput rates. The chapter concludes that, in order to address South Africa’s teacher supply shortfall, greater emphasis is needed on ensuring that ITE students complete their programmes, specialise in high-demand subject areas and phases, and transition into the teaching profession with minimal delay.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Binne die konteks van Suid-Afrika se sosio-ekonomiese uitdagings het Hoër Onderwys (HO) ’n belangrike sleutelrol om te vervul, nie net wat die produksie van genoegsame gegradueerdes en die daarstelling van skaars vaardighede (wat benodigword vir ekonomies ontwikkeling en groei) betref nie, maar ook om geleenthede vir sosiale mobiliteit en restitusie te bied. Hierdie proefskrif ondersoek die mate waartoe die openbare HO sisteem hierdie rolle vertolk deur die navorsing van drie temas binne die neksus tussen die sekondêre skoolsisteeem, HO, en die arbeidsmark in Suid-Afrika. Hoofstuk 2 van die proefskrif bestudeer gegradueerde werkloosheid deur te fokus op die verband tussen HO instansies en die verwagte indiensneming- en werkloosheidsuitkomstes vir gegradueerdes uit verskillende rassegroepe. Deur gebruik te maak van ’n waarskynlikheidsbenadering om arbeidsmark en HO data aan mekaar te koppel, word the verband beraam tussen die waarskynlikheid dat ’n gegradueerde aan ’n spesi eke tipe HO instansie afgestudeer het en die waarskynlikheid dat hy/sy werkloos of in diens geneem is. Die resultate dui daarop dat gegradueerde werkloosheid in Suid Afrika nóg hoog is, nóg besig is om dramaties oor tyd te styg en dat ’n groot deel van die waargenome variasie in gegradueerdewerkloosheidskoerse tussen rasse verduidelik kan word deur die feit dat sekere rassegroepe meer waarskynlik is om aan sekere HO instansie te studeer. Hoofstuk 3 onderstoek HO toegang en sukses in die Wes-Kaap, met spesi eke klem op die rolle wat demogra e, akademiese prestasie, en skoolfaktore speel deur die mate van, en die verksille in HO deelname en deurvloeie onder matriek-leerders in die provinsie te verduidelik. Deur leerder-rekords uit matriekeksamendata direk te koppel met studenterekords uit HO data, word die marginale bydraes en relatiewe belangrikheid beraam van verskeie voor-intrede korrelate vir HO uitkomstes onder leerders in die Wes-Kaap. Die hoofstuk illustreer ook die onderskeie rolle wat verskille in HO toegangskoerse en HO deurvloeikoerse speel in die verduideliking van waargenome rasseverskille in HO graduasies. Die bevindings dui daarop dat HO toegang- , deurvloei-, en uitvalkoerse sterk korreleer met matriekprestasie en dat ’n groot deel van die verskil in HO toegang en uitval tussen rassegroepe in die Wes-Kaap verduidelik kan word deur onderliggende verskille in matriekprestasievlakke. Dit word beredeneer dat die volgehoue HO deurvloekoerspremies vir Wit studente gedeeltelik gedryf word deur verskille in die voorwaardelike HO seleksie-meganisme. Hoofstuk 4 van die proefskrif sluit af deur te fokus op die produksie van gegradueerdes met Initial Teacher Education (ITE) kwali kasies in die openbare HO sisteem tussen 2004 en 2013 en die gevolge wat huidige en toekomstige produksievlakke inhou vir die aanbod van onderwysers in Suid-Afrika. Deur gebruik te maak van saamgestelde Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) data, bied die hoofstuk ’n omvattende beskrywende analise van die tendense en onderliggende korrelate van nuwe inskrywings en graduasies in ITE programme. Ten spyte van die feit dat inskrywings en graduasies in ITE programme beduidend sedert 2004 gestyg het, dui die bevindings daarop dat Suid-Afrika tans nie genoeg gegradueerde onderwysers produseer nie. Indien inskrywings aanhou groei en huidige deurvloeikoerse volgehou kanword, word daar beraam dat die HO-sisteem binne die volgende dekade kan begin om genoeg ITE gegradueerdes te produseer om te voldoen aan die beraamde aanvraag na nuwe onderwysers. Die hoofstuk maak die gevolgtrekking dat, ten einde die tekort aan Suid-Afrikaanse onderwysers aan te spreek, groter klem gelê moet word op die noodsaaklikheid dat ITE studente hul kursusse moet voltooi, dat hul moet spesialiseer in hoë aanvraag vak-areas en fases en dat die oorgang in die onderwysprofessie sonder vertraging moet plaasvind.

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