Enhancing graduate employability attributes and capabilities formation: a service-learning approach

SOURCE: Teaching in Higher Education
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): N.Mtawa, S.Fongwa, M.Wilson-Strydom
DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 11115
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/15065
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/15065

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Graduates' employment outcomes remain a critical factor for all stakeholders in the sector. Positive graduate outcomes enhance students' aspirations for a university, accountability to the government for funding, and as a proxy for university quality and curriculum relevance. However, with high unemployment rate, graduates feel unprepared for the world of work, while employers perceive graduates as lacking core employability soft-skills. Academics on their part struggle to integrate employability skills in the curriculum. Furthermore, globalisation, diversity in society and workplace, call for graduates with social and humane values. Informed by the Capability Approach, we argue that community service-learning (CSL) has the potential to enhance graduate employability skills while fostering human capabilities. From the analysis of qualitative data, critical thinking, communication skills, and teamwork; and capability for affiliation and dimension of agency were identified. We conclude that CSL enhances graduate outcomes beyond the narrow premise of training graduates solely for employment.