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Report on a Tracer Study of the Graduates of the Department of

Information and Communication Studies

This report of tracer study was conducted in 2008 by the Department of
Information and
Communication Studies (DICS) of its alumni for the period 2000-2007;
Sponsored by the University of Namibia. The purposes of the study were:
To establish the current employment trends of former graduates of DICS; To
provide information that will allow assessment of the immediate and longterm value and contribution of the Departments graduates to industry and
the employer community in general by conducting the tracer study; To
assess current trends in labour market requirements for DICS graduates from
labour market signals; To assess graduates perception of the study
conditions and provisions while at the university; Examine the transition from
higher education to employment from the graduates perception; Identify the
present job status of the graduates and the extent to which their jobs are
appropriate to their level of education; and determined the extent to which
graduates use knowledge, attitudes and skills acquired during their study at
the university in their present jobs.
To gain the objectives of the study, questionnaires were provided and
substantially administered in Windhoek and outside the Windhoek and
outside the country questionnaires were sent by email. Thirty 30
questionnaires were sent by email and only 12 graduates responded.
The graduates of the succeeding programmes that took part in the tracer
study are;
-Diploma in Information Studies
-B.A. Library Science and Records Management (since 2008 B. A. Library
-B.A. Media Studies
In the three programmes the majority of the respondents were female (83%
78% Library Science and Records Management, and 83% Media Studies);
The respondents in the Library Science and Records management program
are consists of 85% Namibians, 10% (southern African Development
Community (SADC) and 5% from other countries, such as Rwanda and
Kenya). In the Media Studies programme, 75% were Namibians, 13% from
SADC and 9% from different countries, such as Germany and Cuba.
Most of the Diploma respondents (42%) had enrolled in 2002; only few of the
respondents had enrolled in 2005 and 2006 showing decrease to 8%.
Most of the B.A. Library Science and Records management programme (29%)
had registered in 2003. Library Science and Records management
Programme, 75.6% psychology, sociology 9.8%, geography/environmental
studies (4.9%) and other majors including computer science (9.8%). Media
Studies, 50% psychology, sociology 20.8% and the other majors were
geography/environmental studies (4.2%), political studies 8.3%, Other
English and drama (16.7%)

Overall, the study shows that many of the graduates of B.A. Media Studies
(54%) had better employment compared the graduates of B.A. Science
graduates (29%). Fifty percent (50%) of Diploma students had regular
employment. Mostly, the graduates have been through numerous temporary
job, 43% of B.A. Library Science, 38% of B.A. Media studies and 42% of
Diploma graduates. More of the Diploma former graduates (25%) continued
on further studying compared to library science (7%) and media studies
In recruitment selection, Ninety three percent (93%) of the employers
regarded the field of study as the most important criteria as the graduates
are expected to bring new knowledge and skills to the organization.
The advantage of the curriculum is it has good lecturers with relevant skills
in according to the perception of the graduates in Library science, media
studies and diploma program. They had a variety of modules which gave
them the flexibility. However, little practical experience, limited resources in
the terms of lecturers, computers and limited library resources are the
weaknesses of the program.
For the library science graduates, the broadness of the program is
considered to be the weakness because it denies them to specialization. The
curriculum are turning bias towards certain courses like leaving out
specialties such as TV and Radio due to the expense of others like journalism
and print media leaving out electronic media in according to the alumni of
media studies. The graduates suggested that changes in practical work
placement, development of computer facilities, changes in curriculum, more
lecturers and style or method of teaching.
In effect to the alumni; for media studies (60%), most of them were
employed in the first five months. For the library science graduates, forty
nine (49%) were employed within the first five months and thirty nine (39%)
within five to one year. Fifty percent (50%) in terms of first employment for
the diploma students within five months; Most of the graduates said that
they had responded to an advertisement in terms of their first reinforcement.
Only (16%) media studies, (25%) diploma and (12%) library science
graduates said they had participated in some training or orientation
programme. Most of them said that they had to rely on advanced and
experienced colleagues.
Jobs and positions that the library science graduates may occupy are:
positions of being librarian, senior librarian, records administrator,
cataloguer, senior documentation officer, teacher, assistant archivist,
information officer, and resource center officer. The media studies graduates
positions are consist of: public relations officer, corporate relations officer,
private control information officer, assistant producer, radio news and
current affairs [officer], news journalist, corporate communications
officer/manager, information officer, administration assistant, enumerator,
liaison officer, radio presenter/technician, investment clerk.

The graduates were asked to specify how long for them does it takes to have
the impression that they were competent enough to do their jobs effectively.
67% diploma, 58% Library science and 72% media studies specified that it
took them less than five months. However, the employers felt that the
students still lacked insights and practical experience and service training
which are part of the requirement in job recruitment. Communication skills
and English language, computer skills and information retrieval was
unsatisfactory for the employers. Inexperienced graduates did not perform
well in interviews due to lacked of confidence and language problems.
The tracer studys results the strengths and weaknesses of the programmes
offered by the Department of Information and Communication Studies
(DICS). Weaknesses of the program are discussed by curriculum review
exercise in 2007, checking the curriculum is essential for the Department in
order to identify which areas can be strengthened.