The relevance and adequacy of university education to occupational demands: the case of Zambia.

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Banja, Madalitso Khulupirika
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Zango; Journal of Contemporary Issues
This article draws on the findings of a study carried out in Zambia to establish the relevance and adequacy of university education to occupational demands. The study surveyed university graduates and their human resource managers. An analysis of primary data collected through self-completion questionnaires, and in-depth personal interviews shows that the training offered by the two universities under study was relevant to meet occupational demands. However, the article reveals that university graduates had insufficient hands-on-practical experience during their training compared to their non-university colleagues. This created an imbalance in their skills profile and caused problems of adaptability and consequently compelled employers to retrain the graduates in order to bring about specialisation and easy adaptation to their occupational demands. University graduates were perceived to possess higher technical analysis and reasoning compared to their non-university graduate colleagues. Further, the study found that there were no differences in adaptability and performance attributable to gender among both university and college graduates. The article concludes that the current training regime does not fully meet the needs of the graduates and the expectations of employers and ends with a number of specific suggestions on how to improve the practical orientation of university education.
Relevance. Adequacy. Adaptability. University education. Skills profile.
Banja, M.K. (2012) ‘The Relevance and Adequacy of University Education to Occupational Demands: the case of Zambia.’ Zango; Journal of Contemporary Issues Volume 29 1-8 (ISSN: 1028-3536)