Re/positioning Academic Practices to Enhance Employability Skills: Insights from Teachers and Students of Higher Education
The compatibility between industry and universities has great importance in higher education. Our study explored the compatibility between educational institutional academic practices and employability skills as perceived by both students and teachers. We used a mix-method convergent parallel research design. A questionnaire and interview protocols were used to collect data from students and teachers of higher education institutions. On questionnaire, a total of 115 responses were received while interviews were conducted with ten students and five teachers who had been teaching professional courses in educational institutions. The study concluded that compatibility between institutional academic practices and employability skills albeit exists, however, it surfaced at a very smaller level. Therefore, re/positioning the academic practices with employment skills has become a need of the hour for Pakistani higher education institutions. Further, for making academic practices more effective, internship can play a catalytic role for those students who get less opportunity of acquiring employability skills in the university. Moreover, it is clarified from the data that professional degrees and especially the internship program have positive effect on students’ learning. On the basis of findings, it is recommended that educational institutions should bring continuity in re/positioning their academic practices in line with market demands and in this regard, the internship period be extended in order to enhance students’ employability skills.
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