In the context of mid-level skills shortages and the promotion of industry–education partnerships, this article examines the case of a longstanding partnership between the pulp and paper industry and a university of technology. The partnership resulted in the development of a focused qualification. We explore the experiences and understandings of academics and students in order to examine the benefits and pitfalls of such partnerships in addressing the needs of business, higher education and the students. The results show that while the university of technology has benefitted through work placements for their students and funding for industry-seconded lecturers, the partnership’s links are weakening. The programme is unattractive to high-achieving ‘matric’ graduates and is taken as a stepping-stone to other engineering fields. The article explores why this has developed. The curriculation of qualifications that are narrowly focused on one industry may limit articulation and portability of skills between different industries by graduates.
Wedekind, V., & Mutereko, S. (2016). Higher education responsiveness through partnerships with industry: The case of a university of technology programme. Development Southern Africa, 33(3), 376-389. doi:10.1080/0376835X.2016.1156516