Given the current economy and lack of jobs available to our graduates, THENSA believes that promoting entrepreneurship education is critical for economic renewal in South Africa.
Not only are our youth navigating a future that is uncertain, but they are also tackling an unemployment rate of 75,1 % (ages 15 -24). As of June 2022, that amounted to 7,7 Million youth, according to StatsSA.
As THENSA’s aim is to ensure a vibrant economy in Africa is established and maintained, our many initiatives strive to find a solution that would have a real positive impact on our youth.
Tackling real-world issues from a local perspective
Our THENSA, invite-only, Graduate Employability App, takes Edu-Tech to a new level. Looking at our data challenges for our graduates, we set out to create a learning environment where a lack of data cannot stop empowering our learners.
From CVs to interview skills, and job applications to IBM courses and the Munster Technological University (MTU) Telegram delivered Entrepreneurship Course, our initiatives address Africa 2063 & the SDGs in that we deliver quality, innovative education through collaboration.
Together with Social Path, Qubi Systems and MTU, THENSA held a hybrid event with Durban University of Technology (DUT), one of our member institutions, in October 2021. We invited the first round of graduates to the programme to opt-in and launched our telegram learning platform.
A few highlights of this event include:
- Prof Sibu Moyo (Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Research, Innovation and Engagement DUT) said that “statistics around unemployment often ignore the informal traders who are a vital part of our economy. This is why the Online Entrepreneurship Programme acknowledges and supports the development of small businesses”.
- Prof Keo Motaung, an entrepreneur herself, emphasised the “importance of lifelong learning to be a successful business owner.” She has taken the Online Entrepreneurship Programme herself!
- The Embassy of Ireland | South Africa, Fionnuala Gilsenan, commended THENSA for investing in education with the Hincks Centre, School of Business at Munster Technological University to support students in becoming future entrepreneurs.
With onboarding across all our member institutions and with graduates successfully earning their MTU entrepreneurship certificates of completion, the next step would be getting the industry involved. This would ensure that we close the “employability loop” by introducing graduates to potential employees and vice versa.
Seeing education through the lens of the future
While universities and government play a huge role in education beyond 4IR, THENSA wanted to close the graduate “job seeker” loop. We ran a campaign to kick-start onboarding industry members to join the graduate employability initiative for free!
You can register your business and join the initiative.
In turn, this allows all stakeholders, throughout the journey from studies to employment or self-employment, to offer feedback and inform the education of identified curriculum enhancements.
These valuable insights will support our graduates in becoming more employable.
In addition to our exciting world-first application, THENSA has developed capacity-building programmes that you can apply, in response to the National Development Plan (NDP) targets,
It is envisaged that through these initiatives, universities can expect an increase in a critical mass of staff and students with Masters’ and PhD qualifications, enhanced supervision capacity and accelerated research outputs.
These initiatives demonstrate THENSA’s commitment to empowering our youth to be employed and growing our economy. Feedback on our academic writing workshops has included:
- Very useful, “broadened my understanding”
- Not too much information. Just enough.
- A great team. Presenter excellent.
Our members have a focus on the technology sector and we want to support our local, innovative culture, where the likes of inventions such as the Kreepy Krauly, Economical Solar Power (making solar electricity 5x cheaper), CyberTracker (a vital conservation tool) and many more inventions which have yet to be thought of.
These are just a few of the ways that THENSA is actively supporting entrepreneurship education for economic renewal in the country.
We are always on the lookout for new members who want to join us in supporting technological innovation in South African higher education. If you are interested in how you can work with us and our members, get in touch.