Assessing the quality of higher education

The purpose of the survey is to gather information on the current employment and economic status of NUST, UNAM, IUM and IOL graduates.

13 April 2021 | Education

Michelline Nawatises

The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) is coordinating the undertaking of the 2021 National Graduate Survey by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), University of Namibia (UNAM), the International University of Management (IUM) and the Institute for Open Learning (IOL).

The purpose of the survey is to gather information on the current employment and economic status of NUST, UNAM, IUM and IOL graduates. Furthermore, the main objectives of the survey are to assess the quality of higher education, its external efficiency, and help to explore strategies for its improvement to effectively contribute to socio-economic development.

The Deputy Executive Director of Operations at the NCHE, Sylvia Demas, mentioned the graduate survey facilitates obtaining feedback on the outcomes of the education and training, such as whether the graduates found jobs or if they were still looking for jobs, whether their studies prepared them well for the workplace, and whether they were using the knowledge and skills acquired during their studies.

Any institution offering higher education in Namibia (universities, institutes or colleges) can participate in the survey depending on their readiness. “Currently, participation is voluntary while the NCHE is systematically working with the higher education institutions to develop the necessary capacity,” Demas said. Once survey undertaking mechanisms and logistics have been institutionalised across all institutions, the exercise would become compulsory to all.

Graduate surveys in Namibia are conducted two to three years after the completion of their studies. The findings of the survey are used in:

· Quality improvement in higher education

· Policy formulation and development planning

· Research

· Career counselling

· Guiding the choice of study programmes by prospective students

The survey consists of an online questionnaire to be answered by the targeted graduates. The questionnaire has sections on:

· Demographic information

· Education and work experience before studies

· Regional and international mobility

· Family information

· Prior higher/ tertiary education

· Study programme completed in 2017 or 2018

· Study conditions and provisions

· Employment search

· Further studies/ training

· Job search

· Current employment and work

· Job requirement and use of qualifications

· Assessment of employment and work

· General comments/ recommendations

The survey is divided into two phases. The first phase includes planning and data collection which shall be completed by May 2021. The second phase consists of data analysis, report writing and information dissemination which shall take place between June and October 2021.

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