Partnering with Industry Leaders to Increase Student Employability

Some of Honoris’ member and partner institutions share some of the different ways that they are teaming up with industry leaders to improve student outcomes and prepare graduates for the world of work.

MANCOSA, South Africa

Enjoying strong partnership links with professional bodies, industry, and government, MANCOSA is passionate about providing their students with opportunities for internships, work placements and industry-based learning. These include partnership engagements with larger corporates for webinars and virtual career hours, including the likes of MUFG, ProTalent Recruitment Agency, Gautrain Management Agency, Cipla, Shoprite SA, Mr Price, and Nando’s SA.

On top of this, MANCOSA boasts a variety of programmes dedicated to boosting student employability. These include:

  • MANCOSA Virtual Internship Programme: This programme provides students with an opportunity to be virtually placed in global host companies to boost work readiness through a range of activities and engagements with company mentors.
  • MANCOSA Mentorship Programme: Through a structured mentorship programme, students are mentored by alumni who assist in personal development and career growth together with a range of group sessions hosted by experts within the area.
  • MANCOSA Ignite Programme: To boost entrepreneurship and innovation, final-year students & alumni complete a 16-week programme that focuses on building small businesses and enhancing entrepreneurial capabilities. Experts from various facets of business, such as marketing, finance, and strategy, work with participants to convert their business concepts into an operational business.

In addition to this, MANCOSA has recently placed 6 IT/Data Analyst graduates at Savuka Property Care Services.

Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, South Africa

Through extensive workplace learning placements, their bi-annual Brand Challenge, and by partnering with knowledge partners on short courses, Red & Yellow consistently shows their dedication to improving employability for their graduates.

Workplace Learning: The goal of Red & Yellow has always been to create work-ready graduates. For this, it has developed programmes that integrate formal learning with workplace needs and concerns. Curriculum design, therefore, takes into account these needs, and programmes are developed with these outcomes in mind.

Red & Yellow has adapted and applied three WIL strategies:

  • Work-directed theoretical learning: this ensures that the theoretical and practical components of teaching and learning are brought together in meaningful ways. This ensures alignment of knowledge demands and workplace relevance and enhances the overall quality of the programme
  • Project-based learning: this ensures that students learn through applying their skills in projects located in the real world. Projects result in students engaging in complex, real-world issues, through which they benefit from the transfer of knowledge, skills and experience.
  • Workplace learning: this occurs when students are placed within the workplace environment for the purposes of learning. WPL exposes students to the context and requirements of the workplace and provides students with the opportunity to apply and refine their knowledge and skills, develop new skills in areas such as communication and teamwork, develop an awareness of professional workplace culture and expectations, cultivate a practical appreciation of their chosen profession, and develop practical skills to reflect upon professional practice.

Workplace learning happens in October every year, and some of the organisations that have participated in WPL with Red & Yellow include Woolworths, Ogilvy, Publicis, DUKE Avertising, OneDayOnly, King James, Butlers Pizza, and Grid Worldwide.

The R&Y Brand Challenge: Taking place twice a year, this is a summative exercise which allows students to apply everything they have learnt up to that point. Teams are created that consist of students from our final year BAVC (art directors, graphic designers, digital designers, illustrators) as well as from our Advanced Diplomas – Copywriting; Marketing & Advertising Communications (MAC) and User Centred Design (UCD). Each of these students will have different value to bring to the team and part of the process is unlocking what that is (both self-awareness and awareness of those around you) and then defining and developing the roles and responsibilities of each person.

Teamwork is a large part of the process as different individuals need to come together to find effective solutions. The teams are briefed directly by the client and ultimately present back to them. There is no set briefing template, as part of the process is learning to interpret what is being asked in whatever format that briefing is given. We will provide guidelines and work with clients to develop the briefs, but ensure that each one is done according to who they are – not who we as R&Y are. The presentations to clients also set up a very different dynamic to class settings. They end up presenting to top industry people and learn to handle their nerves and ability to articulate themselves in a high-pressure environment. They also learn how to respond to questions and defend their thinking/work to experts from their various fields.

Clients that have participated in the brand challenge include &BAM, Sporting Chance, Vondeling, Baxter Theatre, Heineken, Okja, Sugar Bird Distillery, and Idion Wines.

Université Centrale, Tunisia

Université Centrale Polytechnique partnered with the Tunisian start-up, ‘Vision,’ to develop an unprecedented prototype that would help the visually impaired to move around the city.
Named the VIFE project, this prototype enables users to locate their position in the city in real-time, detecting surrounding obstacles and receiving precise information about their surroundings through an interactive voice. Text recognition, GPS functionality, colour recognition, as well as obstacle detection are all built into the prototype, making it easy to use for the visually impaired.

It is through partnerships with companies like Vision that our students are able to experience the real world of work, while simultaneously making a larger difference for those in need.

Regent Business School, South Africa

Regent Business School (RBS) is dedicated to building ecosystems of innovation and research by actively partnering with employers and other stakeholders. RBS has initiated several projects and initiatives through external collaborations to enhance research and innovation in the business domain. One prominent example is the Industry-Academia Partnership Program, where RBS forms alliances with leading employers to facilitate knowledge exchange, joint research projects, and internships for students. As a result, RBS through its partnerships with industry has placed graduates in internships and positions within the Supply Chain and Logistics, Retail, Banking, Human Resources, Marketing, and Accounting sectors. Through these partnerships, RBS students gain valuable practical experience and exposure to real-world challenges, while employers benefit from fresh perspectives and access to RBS’s academic expertise. Additionally, RBS actively engages with industry associations and professional bodies to ensure its research aligns with industry needs and contributes to the advancement of business practices. These collaborative efforts not only enhance the employability of RBS graduates but also foster a culture of continuous learning and innovation within the business community.

Le Wagon, Mauritius & Morocco

At both their Mauritius and Casablanca, Morocco campuses, Le Wagon enjoys a close working relationship with the Orange Business Group.

In Mauritius, Orange Business Group regularly offers professional workshops to Le Wagon students related to Orange’s business, while also offering alumni opportunities to attend days dedicated to the group’s businesses. These days effectively increase the employability of Le Wagon’s students, while also strengthening the links between Le Wagon’s institutions and the Orange Group.

In addition to this, Orange and Le Wagon work hand-in-hand to support diversity, with opportunities such as the Women In Tech event being organised by Le Wagon and sponsored by Orange.

The Le Wagon Casablanca campus enjoys a similar partnership with Orange Maroc. Orange Morocco and Le Wagon Casablanca are committed to promoting gender diversity in innovation professions through the “Hello Women” project, which works to build an inclusive community of women interested in data science by organising technical workshops and monthly talks open to the general public, as well as providing training opportunities for motivated women, both current Orange employees and external candidates, to attend Le Wagon’s Data science bootcamp and subsequently join Orange teams.