Enhancing Graduate Employability in Cameroonian Universities Through Professionalization in the Context of the ‘Licence–Master–Doctorat’ Reform
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The adoption of Bologna Process ideas through the ‘licence–master–doctorat’ system has set in motion reforms in the Cameroon higher education (HE), including the issue of graduate employability. Based on text documents and interviews, this article examines the employability agenda with a focus on its conceptualization, its operational strategies, and its consequences for universities in Cameroon. The findings show that graduate employability is enhanced in Cameroonian universities through a combination of strategies under the catchword ‘professionalization’ — that is, preparing students with skills and competences for specific professions. Conceptualizing professionalization, this article shows that the adoption of BP ideas did not bring in completely new elements in the employability agenda; it merely inspired local reforms and solutions which led to the reinforcement and diversification of the existing professionalization agenda that has been one of the missions of HE in Cameroon. This article focuses on the creation of professional degree programmes as an operational strategy for enhancing graduate employability. As a consequence of the conceptualization and operationalization strategies adopted, we identified mismatches between policy objectives and policy outcomes.
KeywordsBologna Process employability professionalization LMD system professional degree programmes cameroon
I would like to thank Professor Risto Rinne, Dr Johanna Kallo, Hanna Laalo and Suvi Jokila for commenting on an earlier draft of this article. I would also like to thank all the participants of the 40th anniversary seminar of the faculty of education, University of Turku for their constructive comments. I also appreciate the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier draft.
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