University graduates from a pan-African private higher education network have defied the odds in Africa, a continent suffering high graduate unemployment rates, by crafting partnerships involving universities as well as the private and public sectors to increase job placements which, in some instances, are securing a 90% employment rate.
Institutions under the university network, which has 71,000 students in Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa, have been successful in fighting joblessness among its graduates through courses that place a strong emphasis on employability.
The partnerships of the Honoris United Universities network, launched in 2017, have developed tailor-made programmes through a number of initiatives, according to a report titled Pan-African Student Employability, including data up to 2022 and detailing some of its strategies.
The report was compiled following a survey conducted by the university network’s research department.
In the foreword, Dr Jonathan Louw, Group CEO at Honoris United Universities, said 50% of African employers state that job seekers’ skills do not match their needs.
He said an estimated 62% of job seekers in Sub-Saharan Africa are being deemed as under-educated, which is a reason why the network was created.
“We champion new methods of delivery and technologies to develop a relevant academic model designed to address Africa’s key educational challenges in this fast-changing and globalised world, while building partnerships with both public regulators and pan-African industries,” said Louw.
Companies that the network has partnerships with to increase the employability of its students include Siemens, Microsoft, Huawei, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Ford, Unilever, Dangote, Grant Thornton and Standard Bank.
Some of the companies even participate in designing the curriculum. The employer partnerships have also resulted in classroom instruction by industry experts, industry-endorsed certifications, and industry research and development collaborations.
According to the report, the network has about 800 employer partnerships across 12 industries. The employer relationships and recruitment support are managed across 23 digital and physical career service centres.