Examining relations between educational policy and higher education students' access to industry in Zimbabwe

Dube, Sithobile Priscilla (2019-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Zimbabwe has experienced a rise in unemployment and underemployment since 2004 as recorded in the reports of 2002-2018 (Amadeo, 2018; Luebker, 2008; Shizha & Kariwo, 2011). The issue of graduate employability has been appearing high on the agenda of higher education, government, universities and industries. The employers and employees, graduates, students, parents and other stakeholders cry foul over what they see as a gap between the graduation of university students and their entry into the world of work. The various arguments throughout this thesis and the discussions of the results obtained from the data collected seem to exert pressure not only on universities to produce employable graduates, but also on the country to have a sustainable economy that would assist the universities to run well. The arguments also pose a responsibility on employers to give their input on how to handle the complicated transitions in the journey of graduates during and after their period of study. This research aimed to contribute to the current body of knowledge on graduate employability. The research focused on elaborating on the experiences of 20 participants including university students, graduates during their transition into employment, and managers in industries. The research was conducted using an interpretive approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in two separate stages of approximately 50 minutes each with all the participants. Analytic induction was used to uncover categories and themes in the data set. Three themes were used to analyse data collected during the interviews. The first theme viewed the graduates’ access into the industry. The major concern was to find out from the participants whether university programmes were tailored to produce graduates that were employable and suitable for the industry. Secondly, the issue of democracy was pursued in order to determine whether there existed democracy in the university programmes. The focus was on education, training and development in order to establish whether the curriculum was suitable to produce employable graduates or not. The issue of stakeholder involvement was considered. Thirdly, entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe was discussed with the intention of determining whether the graduates had received enough training and development to promote employability, business ventures and job creation opportunities. The findings revealed that there was a need for dialogue and collaboration amongst universities, industries and government. The three need to agree on how they can work together to produce graduates who are skilled enough to contribute to meeting the challenges of the economy and also improve universities (Vaivode, 2015). The universities are expected to provide valuable programmes that are useful to produce employable graduates. Participating managers and graduates were aware of the gap that exists between graduation and the time when underemployment or unemployment surfaces. There exists a notion that the gap is caused by a lack of support by the universities, and industry can bridge this gap through creation of programmes to support the students’ training and development up to graduation level. Training of graduates needs to be for development and support of the whole person in order to make the transition into employment possible.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Zimbabwe beleef sedert 2004 ʼn toename in werkloosheid en onderindiensneming 2004 soos gesien in die verslae van 2002–2018 (Amadeo, 2018; Luebker, 2008; Shizha & Kariwo, 2011). Die kwessie van gegradueerde indiensneembaarheid is hoog op die agenda van hoër onderwys, die regering, universiteite en die nywerheid. Die werkgewers en werknemers, gegradueerdes, studente, ouers en ander belanghebbendes protesteer heftig oor wat hulle sien as ʼn gaping tussen die graduering van universiteitstudente en hulle toetrede tot die wêreld van werk. Daar ontstaan ʼn groter behoefte aan ʼn ondersoek na die rol van universiteite en die nywerhede, en om ooreenstemming te bereik oor hoe hulle kan saamwerk om gegradueerdes te lewer wat vaardig genoeg is om die uitdagings van die ekonomie die hoof te bied. Dit wil lyk asof die verskillende argumente deur hierdie tesis heen en die besprekings van die resultate van die ingesamelde data nie net druk uitoefen op universiteite om gegradueerdes wat vir werk geskik is, te lewer nie, maar ook op die land om ʼn volhoubare ekonomie te hê wat die universiteite sou bystaan om goed te funksioneer. Die argumente hou ook ʼn groot verantwoordelikheid vir die werkgewers in om insette te lewer oor hoe om die ingewikkelde oorgange in gegradueerdes se pad gedurende en ná hulle studietydperk te hanteer. Hierdie navorsing was daarop gemik om tot die bestaande kenniskorpus oor die indiensneembaarheid van gegradueerdes by te dra. Die navorsing het op uitbreiding van die ervaringe van 20 deelnemers met inbegrip van universiteitstudente, gegradueerdes gedurende hulle oorgang na indiensneming en bestuurders van nywerhede gekonsentreer. Die navorsing is onderneem met behulp van ʼn interpretatiewe benadering. Ek het semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude van ongeveer 50 minute elk met al die deelnemers gevoer. Analitiese induksie is gebruik om kategorieë en temas in die datastel bloot te lê. Drie temas is gebruik om die data wat tydens die onderhoude ingesamel is, te analiseer. Die eerste tema het gekyk na die gegradueerdes se toegang tot die nywerheid. Die belangrikste was om by die deelnemers vas te stel of universiteitsprogramme daarop toegespits is om gegradueerdes te lewer wat geskik is vir werk, goed geïdentifiseer en geskik vir die nywerheid. Tweedens is die kwessievan demokrasie nagestreef ten einde te bepaal of daar sprake van demokrasie was in die universiteitsprogramme. Die fokus was op onderwys, opleiding en ontwikkeling om vas te stel of die kurrikulum doelmatig was om gegradueerdes wat geskik is vir werk te lewer, of nie. Die kwessie van betrokkenheid van belanghebbendes is in oënskou geneem. Derdens is entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe bespreek met die bedoeling om vas te stel of die gegradueerdes genoeg opleiding ontvang het en ontwikkel is om indiensneembaarheid, sakeondernemings en werkskeppingsgeleenthede te bevorder. Die bevindinge het daarop gedui dat daar behoefte was aan dialoog en samewerking met die verskillende belanghebbendes, byvoorbeeld universiteite, die nywerheid, die regering, gegradueerdes, studente en ouers. Daar word van universiteite verwag om waardevolle programme te verskaf wat gebruik kan word om gegradueerdes wat geskik is vir werk, te lewer. Die gegradueerdes se opleidingsbehoeftes moet voorsiening maak vir ontwikkeling van die hele mens en ondersteuning bied om sodoende die oorgang na indiensneming moontlik te maak. Die gegradueerdes moet voorberei word ten opsigte van loopbaansukses vir werkskeppingsgeleenthede. Bestuurders en gegradueerdes was bewus van die gaping wat bestaan tussen graduering en ʼn tyd wanneer onderindiensneming of werkloosheid opduik. Daar bestaan die gedagte dat die gaping veroorsaak word deur ’n gebrek aan ondersteuning deur die universiteite, en die nywerheid kan hierdie gaping oorbrug deur die skep van programme om die studente se opleiding en ontwikkeling tot en met graduering te ondersteun.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107012
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