Success Project

Thus, the main motivator for the SUCSESS project was to create a platform to discuss and share experiences of how the employability of South African students can be enhanced throughout their studies - an issue with which the British and the Finnish partners have worked intensively for several years. Introducing teaching and learning methods supporting multidisciplinary learning, aiming at enhancing transversal competencies and skills rather than only focusing on theoretical knowledge, is a solution for enhancing the employability of students. As Pirog et al. (2021: 367) state, “competences are the most important capital a university graduate can have”. Universities are expected to provide teaching and learning opportunities, research outlets and have societal impact. The strengthening of university collaboration with industry increases the opportunities for students to engage with companies throughout their studies which is an approach that has proven to achieve very positive results for the employability of students (Borah et al., 2021; Holmberg et al., 2022). New learning and teaching approaches at universities have also been requested in order to adequately cater to a new generation of students, namely, Generation Z, entering the university. Gen Z (born after 1997) share many of the same values characterising previous generations including, for example, the fact that millennials also experience boredom and disengage if they are not allowed to actively be part of the learning process. Student engagement and activity can be enhanced by effective use of technology such as apps, social media and gamification. Teamwork to reach learning goals as well as encouraging social responsibility in the student projects are other strategies to improve the motivation to learn among students. University lecturers should be encouraged to test new learning approaches and failing should be accepted since failures contribute towards learning and ultimately, students not only learn for school but for life (Jakubik, 2020). New approaches to teaching and learning are redefining the traditional role of the university lecturer. When students are challenged to be involved in real-life projects offered by industry partners, the lecturer becomes a facilitator of learning rather than the expert transferring knowledge to students (Holmberg & Ritalahti, 2017). The transformation from being a lecturer with all the expertise to a facilitator of students’ learning can be challenging. The SUCSESS project offers a platform for supporting this change with a focus on making South African students more employable and work-ready upon graduation. Another important focus of the SUCSESS project is to strengthen the knowledge triangle, i.e., to intensify the collaboration between the partner universities and external stakeholders with a view to offer students a better understanding of the workplace and provide work experiences during their studies. The next part of this chapter elaborates upon this issue. 8