Access for labour market equity: advancing the case for national development in South African higher education

SOURCE: Alternation
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2012
TITLE AUTHOR(S): S.Akoojee, M.Nkomo, T.Twalo
KEYWORDS: EQUALITY, HIGHER EDUCATION, LABOUR MARKET
DEPARTMENT: Education and Skills Development (ESD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7564

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Abstract

The responsibilities of higher education and training (HET) institutions include, but are not limitedto, preparing students for absorption and productive participation in the labour market. Although the post-1994 period has witnessed a rapid expansion in enrolment into tertiary institutions in South Africa by black people who were previously excluded, this has not resulted in transforming the South African labour market. Although increased black graduate production has resulted in more black people emerging from the university system, the labour market outcomes of black graduates and those emerging from previously black tertiary institutions (referred to as previously disadvantaged institutions) is less than consistent. While this must reflect on the reality of a racialised labour market selection process that favours white rather than black students or their 'traditional' institutions, it is necessary for supply side institutions to respond appropriately. The role of universities in this process is considered critical. This article argues for a more responsive higher education system that provides a bridge between the worlds of the institution and work.