WINDHOEK – Over 50% of the student applications received by the International University of Management (IUM) are taken up by students who enlisted for education programmes.
Over the years, many tertiary institutions have been turning away students who wish to pursue fields of study such as education and nursing due to limited space.
IUM director for marketing and communication Gerry Munyama in an interview New Era yesterday said education has the highest enrolment at the university.
He revealed in 2019, the university had over 4000 students enrolled in various education programmes across all campuses. For 2020, he said registration is still ongoing but the current enrolment figures in education continue to exceed expectations. “Although the university receives lots of applications in nursing, we have an annual intake ceiling of 50 students. There are just over 200 nursing students enrolled across the various periods of study levels,” Munyama noted.
New Era queried why IUM has been turning away students over the years in the fields of education and nursing.
Munyama explained the delivery of educational programmes at the university level requires careful planning, and such planning is done usually in anticipation of student intakes in relation to related activities. He said it involves planning for physical facilities (lecture halls, laboratories, simulation facilities), as well as human resources particularly teachers and supervisors, among others.
Munyama noted a sudden surge of interest in a particular field (as in education and nursing in the past three years or so), if not carefully managed, is likely to disrupt the system, with adverse consequences on the internal effectiveness of the university programme.
“Instead of just turning such applicants away, what we do at IUM is give them professional counseling, whereby they are exposed to the range of opportunities available so they can have a better understanding of the options open to them. However, many applicants are visibly worried about job prospects and develop a narrow focus on current market signals and thereby lose out on an opportunity to develop their talents,” he stated.
According to him, the trend of applications is that this phenomenon is largely attributable to anxiety about the future world of work.
He noted potential students are confronted with questions such as what will they do with a qualification that does not seem to guarantee employment.
“The answer is not far-fetched; mostly, nursing and education graduates are in most cases automatically absorbed in the employment market in the country today. In order to alleviate their fears, students are being encouraged to see themselves not just as potential job seekers but potential creators of jobs,” he advised.
He said this is the major reason why IUM students across faculties take integrated courses in entrepreneurship so that whatever their discipline, they are encouraged to be creative in terms of business orientation.
To make it easier for potential employers, he indicated IUM has developed an internship programme which facilitates exposure of its students to the world of work for about six months or so before they graduate.
However, Munyama feels while higher education, because of its attribute of high-level skills, continues to hold promise for employment in the modern sector of the economy, it is not necessarily a guarantee.
“As society moves along further into the 4th Industrial Revolution, the workforce of tomorrow will demand not only higher education but re-education of current workers. Indeed, many of the traditional occupations that demand higher education will disappear from the labour scene, particularly, industries having to do with retail and trade, transportation, agriculture, office administration and support services, accommodation and food services and production and manufacturing industries,” he analysed.
Higher education will continue to provide the space for innovation and creativity that the new industrial revolution will require in the world of work.
2020-01-30 07:16:28 | 22 days ago