Education Quarterly Reviews

ISSN 2621-5799

Published: 03 September 2020

Assessment of Mining Students’ Perception of Industrial Attachment Programme at Malawi Polytechnic

Jabulani Matsimbe

University of Malawi

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Pages: 351-374

Keywords: Higher Education, Internship, Job Prospects, Universities, Work-Based Learning


Industrial attachments were added to the engineering academic curriculum at the Polytechnic to ensure students are industry-ready when they graduate. The question that arises is how effective are these industrial attachments to the students. Present study seeks to address this question through a survey questionnaire utilizing a Likert Scale with “1” for “very poor”, “2” for “poor”, “3” for “good”, “4” for “very good” and “5” for “excellent” so as to gauge the students’ perception of their three-month industrial attachment programme. There were six perception aspects comprising learning experience, pre-placement activities, student industrial attachment committee, host organization, evaluation process and supervisor-supervisee relationship. These six perception aspects had variables A1-A10, B1-B4, C1-C4, D1-D6, E1-E8 and F1-F4 respectively. In total, 36 questionnaires were returned fully completed from a total of 44 questionnaires distributed (a return rate of 82 percent). The collected data was tabulated and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency, percentage and mean in Microsoft Excel. The results indicated that majority of the Mining Engineering Department students’ perception ranged from “good” to “excellent” with an overall mean score of 3.6 on the Likert scale. Overall, 88% of the students rated the industrial attachment programme favorably from “good” to “excellent” on the Likert scale while 12% rated it unfavorably from “very poor” to “poor”. Of particular concern were the variables “gain writing skills”, “well-structured training programme”, “lifetime learning capacity and entrepreneurial skill” and “attending to arising issue promptly” which had “poor” ratings of 33%, 17%, 25% and 17% respectively. Nevertheless, the students’ favourable perception imply that the Faculty of Engineering curriculum aligns well with the needs of the industry thereby making the students to proactively acquire the work culture at host organizations. Industrial attachments in respective universities are tailored according to various industrial needs hence the findings from this research will benefit higher learning institutions, government institutions and host organizations with similar or different attachment training programmes for future improvement.


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