Schooling inequality, higher education and the labour market: evidence from a graduate tracer study in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

SOURCE: Development Southern Africa
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2016
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Rogan, J.Reynolds
KEYWORDS: EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE, EDUCATION, GRADUATE TRACER STUDY, LABOUR MARKET, SCHOOLS
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 9277

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Abstract

An emerging body of research has shown that there are large inequalities in access to higher education in South Africa. There remains a gap, however, in identifying how factors such as schooling background, academic performance, race and gender are linked with key higher education outcomes. In particular, the significance of these factors for first-choice degree attainment at university and in the subsequent transition to the labour market is of interest. This article addresses these questions by presenting a descriptive and multivariate analysis of data collected through a tracer study which interviewed graduates from two Eastern Cape universities. The results suggest that schooling background, race and gender are associated with study choices and unemployment. These findings have important implications both for equity and for the efficiency of higher education institutions. The article concludes with a discussion of potential policy responses and the implications for equity in higher education.