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University training in the social sciences in East Africa and current labor market reforms in east and Southern Africa: A research agenda

Abstract

Africa is undergoing considerable political, economic and labor market reforms. In this context, education and training stands literally at a crossroads. In the past, it has been oriented toward mass production emphasizing numbers and quantities rather than skills and quality. The primary clientele of the universities were the state organs, local governments, state-controlled cooperatives, commissions and mass organizations. The universities, though frequently in conflict with the state, were very much part of the predominant bureaucratic command economies. As part of the command system the market had to go to them; they did not have to reach out to the market.

The current economic crisis and its subsequent reforms have turned the wheel of fortune against the state and the universities. Financial and employment cuts cannot sustain the traditional levels and practices of employment in the public sector. As the roles of the state and the private sector change, the mission, orientation and future of the universities, university staff and their graduates cannot afford to remain what they used to be. This raises the question of the extent to which the university education system of any country in the region is ready for change?

The present study undertakes to identify the mechanisms for reducing state regulation of the university curricula and increasing the acceptability, relevance, reliability and dynamism of university education to the market and nonmarket, thereby increasing the capability of university graduates to be more readily employable in various sectors and, where not directly employable, to be able to employ themselves in profitable and sustainable activities.

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His areas of specialization are labor law, labor management and human resources development. His current research is on training processes in the informal sector and skill formation, employability and job satisfaction in the formal systems of education and production.

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Mihyo, P. University training in the social sciences in East Africa and current labor market reforms in east and Southern Africa: A research agenda. Knowledge and Policy 6, 99–118 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02696284

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Keywords

  • Labor Market
  • Civil Service
  • Public Administration
  • Social Engineering
  • Labor Market Reform