WINDHOEK - More than half of 2012 and 2013 graduates from three Namibian universities who sought jobs found employment within a period of three to six months, a graduate survey has indicated. This translated into 52 percent of graduates securing salaried employment.
However, the survey stated it still remains a concern that about one in five graduates (19 percent) took over two year to find their entry-job.
The survey also found that diploma and certificate graduates had a much higher unemployment rate of 32 percent compared to Bachelor graduates who were at 11 percent.
Similarly, high unemployment rate was also recorded amongst agriculture graduates with 28 percent, languages with 24 and law graduates with 23 percent compared to the overall average unemployment rate of 17 percent.
The survey also revealed that males earn more than female graduates per month.
These are among key findings from the 2017 graduate survey report prepared by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) with three participating Namibia universities, University of Namibia (Unam), Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) and International University of Management (IUM).
Equally, the 2019 national graduate survey was also launched at the same event.
According to NCHE deputy director of higher education management and information system, Sem Shikongo a total of 8677 graduates completed studies in 2012 and 2013. Shikongo said about 4063 were available for the study and total response was 1035 (25 percent.)
The study was carried out from October 28, 2016 to end of March 2017.
The main purpose of the study was amongst others to obtain information on the current employment and economic status of the graduate as well as to gauge their assessment of the relevance, quality and utility of their education within their work environment.
According to Nust Statistician Booysen Tubulingane who presented the key findings at the launch, most graduates (69) rated the programme content ‘high” in terms of the usefulness of the study programme to their current employment. “This observation suggests that the universities are offering useful programmes in terms of quality and content, thus enhancing the employability of the graduates,” stated Tubulingane.
In terms of job satisfaction, Tubulingane stated the majority of graduates (69 percent) rated ‘possibility to use knowledge and skills acquired during studies is high. He said a high percentage of graduates (71 percent) was working in areas that are appropriate to their education level and reported a close relationship between their field of study and area of work. “Only a few graduates (16 percent) reported that they were working in fields different from their fields of study,” it stated.
Tubulingane said results show that the choice of the higher education institution to study is mostly influenced by academic factors such as reputation or image of the institution or campus and practical emphasis of study programme.
According to Kashiwanwa Immanuel, Coordinator of Alumni Relations at Unam who presented the recommendations, universities should monitor the quality of teaching offered to distance education students and ensure that specific service facilities are accessible to distance students, when on campus. Immanuel said universities should invest in field /practical courses and enhance partnerships with employers to enable students’ access to internship and work integrated learning programmes. They study also recommended academic departments to keep in contact with their graduates to assess their needs for further study so as to inform future training programmes.
This is the second tracer study conducted in the country.
The first one was in 2010/11, targeting graduates from the two public universities.