Mitigating Graduate Unemployability through Student Academic Support at the University of Fort Hare

Alfred H. Makura
2013 Journal of Social Sciences  
Graduate unemployability in the South African context is slowly becoming a topical issue. This development puts into perspective the quality of the graduate churned by the respective institutions as well as the quality of education on offer. Most South African higher education institutions have in place centres of 'academic excellence' or 'academic development centres' or 'centres of teaching and learning' whose mandate is to offer academic support to students. The aim is to improve the quality
more » ... improve the quality of particularly, the undergraduate student. Research on practices aimed at empowering the 'disadvantaged learner' in a Higher Education context is scanty. This paper reports on how the University of Fort Hare has structured and run its academic development or support programmes for the benefit of all students by adopting a developmental approach. The university has put in place quality assurance measures within these support programmes as well as other measures aimed at improving graduate quality and possibly employability. Using secondary statistical data captured from the academic support programmes on offer, the paper shows how such programmes can impact on graduate output rates, academic excellence and perceived employability. The perceived positive impact of the Fort Hare academic support project makes a strong case for the adoption of transformational leadership styles if the goals of student quality and success are to be realised.
doi:10.1080/09718923.2013.11893210 fatcat:oesfezrfufeedm7y77xxkqwm5u