Higher Education in the 21st Century: Relevance, Sufficiency, Challenges and Remedies from Graduates’ Perspective

Main Article Content

Wangui Patrick Mwangi
Diana Ingado

Abstract

Changes in life are ever bound to take place and as a result, what was important yesterday may be obsolete tomorrow, and education is not an exception. Prior to the 21st century, necessity of changes in education had been identified by many researchers and international organizations concerned with education. This had been brought about by the fact that things were changing and education had to keep the pace. In light to this fact, this study was carried out in Eldoret town, Kenya, in order to investigate whether education was up-to-date in the 21st century. It targeted university and college graduates. It was guided by four objectives namely: the relevance of education in this century, the sufficiency, the challenges facing the education in the century and the solutions to the challenges. 300 graduates from 28 different higher learning institutions were considered and data collected using questionnaires. Purposive sampling method was employed. Data analysis was performed in R software and Microsoft Excel for both descriptive and inferential statistics. The results show that, the rate of unemployment among graduates in Eldoret stands at 56.3% (p=0.0163) and 83.4% (p<0.0001) of these unemployed graduates are seeking employment. Among the employed, 59.5% (p=0.0180) are in non-self-employment. At higher learning institutions, majority (74.3%) of the graduates feel that they only gained knowledge while only 3.7% gained both skills and knowledge. Those who don’t find higher education in the 21st century useful in preparing graduates for 21st century’s life are 93.0% (p<0.0001), which is the same as those who don’t find what they gained from higher education useful in their life. The need for reforms in higher education in 21st century for the sake of meeting modern expectations and realization of developments was supported by 98.7% (p<0.0001). 99.7% (p<0.0001) admitted to have faced challenges when studying, which is the same as those with remedies to the challenges. The conclusions are: the higher education in the 21st is not useful, sufficient and relevant for modern life, it is full of challenges and reforms are necessary to help realize developments and modern expectations, and graduates can be useful in finding solutions to the challenges. Recommendations are: the stakeholders should embrace these findings and make necessary reforms to ensure that higher education in 21st century meets the 21st century’s expectations in transforming the modern society, and more research to be done involving wider scope.

Keywords:
Higher education, sufficiency, relevance, challenges, graduates

Article Details

How to Cite
Mwangi, W. P., & Ingado, D. (2020). Higher Education in the 21st Century: Relevance, Sufficiency, Challenges and Remedies from Graduates’ Perspective. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 33(8), 23-37. https://doi.org/10.9734/jesbs/2020/v33i830248
Section
Original Research Article

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