The dilemma of graduate unemployment within a context of poverty, scarcity and fragile economy: are there lessons for the university?

Mbah, M.F. ORCID: 0000-0002-4199-0819, 2014. The dilemma of graduate unemployment within a context of poverty, scarcity and fragile economy: are there lessons for the university? International Journal of Economics and Finance, 6 (12), pp. 27-36. ISSN 1916-971X

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The context of the work of universities in Sub-Saharan Africa is one of high levels of poverty, scarcities and fragile economies. Even though historically, African universities have been very useful in providing the human resources needed to serve in public and private sectors, the rising trend in graduate unemployment is a call for concern. Whilst graduate unemployment is also a phenomenon across the globe, the situation is particularly severe in Africa where many inhabitants see university education as a live wire to gain economic freedom, acquire prosperity and step into a better living condition. Whilst many Africans still harbour hope in tertiary education (and this can be evident by the increasing demand for university education and enrolment), the resulting effect of higher education is often an acquisition of prestige for having completed that level of education than the economic benefits they aspired for. Given this context, this article draws on a single interpretive case study involving a State-owned university, as well as semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions carried out with participants from disparate backgrounds to uncover voices on graduate unemployment, including the disturbing impact this phenomenon is having on families and the future of many youths. It concludes with recommendations of ways the university and its educational system can be fashioned to foster graduate employability and improvement in the living condition of those living in uncertain and fragile economies.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Economics and Finance
Creators: Mbah, M.F.
Publisher: Canadian Center of Science and Education
Date: 2014
Volume: 6
Number: 12
ISSN: 1916-971X
Rights: Copyright for this article is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 25 Jul 2018 09:43
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:43

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