Assessment of Strategies for Preparing Graduates for the Disruptive Workplace: Evidence from Nigeria and South Africa
The emergence of the 4th industrial revolution workplace and its accompanied disruptions across all industries require that Higher Education (HE) strategically aim at equipping graduates with transferable skills to navigate the disruptive workplace. This study aims at assessing the extent by which two identified strategies (experiential learning and career guidance activities) of equipping students with transferable skills are being used by HE in preparing graduates for the disruptive workplace. The study analysed perceptions of students (n=865) from six universities in two African countries, Nigeria and South Africa; on their level of engagements with the two strategies of experiential learning and career guidance activities. Mann–Whitney U tests of comparisons was used to compare the findings from the two countries while hierarchical regression analysis was employed to control for influence of gender and type of university on students’ perceived level of preparedness for work. Findings reveal gaps in students’ engagements with the two strategies; differences in employability perceptions between students in the two countries and; the role of contextual factors on the development of employability. This paper contributes to existing debate on employability by highlighting the extent at which the two identified strategies are adopted in universities in Nigeria and South Africa and, by interrogating the extent to which institutional strategic approaches to employability differ across different regional contexts. More importantly, suggestions on how to address the identified gaps in the provision of these strategies were made.
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