Graduate employability through vocationalisation of higher education in Uganda: A case of Kyambogo University Faculty of Vocational Studies
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The study aimed at exploring how vocationalisation of Higher Education in Kyambogo University can enhance graduate employability in Uganda. The specific objectives of the study were to explore perceptions about graduate employability through Vocational Education and Training, analyse the graduate employability skills imparted in students, and ascertain how employability skills are imparted in students through Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Kyambogo University. The study took a purely qualitative paradigm to facilitate deeper understanding of the problem through face to face interactions with participants who were identified from the Faculty of Vocational Studies, Departments of Agriculture, Art and Industrial Design and Human Nutrition and Home Economics. Nine participants were interviewed including 3 lecturers, 3 third year students and 3 first year students. Kyambogo University was chosen as a case study because it is the only university in Uganda with a full-fledged Faculty of Vocational Studies. This study revealed that graduate employability was perceived as skill based training, a hands on experience and the labor market, as well as vocationalization. It was also concluded that marketing, communication, teamwork, innovative, planning, computer literacy and adaptability were the employability skills imparted in students. Lastly, demonstration and experimentation, visiting existing establishments, exhibitions, conducting research, constant discussions and presentations, portfolio assessment and industrial training were the methods used when imparting skills in students through VET in Kyambogo University. The study recommended that the Government of Uganda should initiate and implement a policy that requires all public and private tertiary institutions to introduce a fully-fledged Faculty of Vocational Studies so as to impart practical skills to the students, to minimize the persistent negative perception about VET by popularizing it in the media, integrate VET within the entire education system, consulting the stakeholders when designing the curricular, identify the learners competences at inception, to allocate adequate funds for VET programmes, to sponsor students and lecturers for further studies abroad in order for them to be exposed to modern facilities and methods of delivery.