Success Project

80 Strengthens collaboration with industry Uses innovative technological tools Fosters learning by developing skills and competencies The goal of the project, and the UPCT model, is to create a service-learning environment where students learn from each other and learn through practical experiences, how to collaborate, plan, think creatively and drive an entrepreneurial spirit with the ultimate goal of making students more employable when they enter the workforce. This approach addresses three core aims of the SUCSESS project: The latter skills and competencies include teamwork, time management, problem-solving, communication and technical skills in a knowledge triangle environment that involves lecturers as facilitators, enables students to take charge of their learning and involves industry processes and contact in real-life projects. The students reflected on their learning experiences and were asked to present at the “SUCSESS”@UP: integrating industry, ingenuity and initiative! seminar on 31 October 2022. In their reflections, they highlighted key attributes, skills and competencies such as creative thinking, time management, software competencies, teamwork, patience and adaptability, amongst others (University of Pretoria, 2022). For the initial pilot of the project, postgraduate students, where student numbers are smaller, were chosen to test the design sprint as a teaching approach adapted to the existing environment of the UPCT. Further use of this teaching approach at the undergraduate level may also be applicable in certain instances. The process can be improved by extending the industry collaboration to external industry partners, as well. 6.3. Inquiry-based learning, University of Zululand An inquiry-based learning approach engages students to make real-world connections through exploration and high-level questioning. It also encourages students to engage in problem-solving and experiential learning, i.e., ‘learning by doing’ and reflecting on the experience (Santa Ana College, 2022: 1). It is important to involve students as co-creators of knowledge (Unger & Plot, 2017: 18), and to bridge the gap between industry expectation of the levels of employability skills obtained by graduates and the ability of universities to develop such skills (Mirza, Al Sinawi, Al-Balushi, Al-Alawi & Panchatcharam, 2020: 445; Riebe & Jackson, 2014: 319). Some examples of potential best practice solutions from the literature include the suggested use of rubrics to mitigate the disparity between industry expectation and university performance by pedagogical approaches that highlight the need for student-centric learning practices such as inquiry learning (Riebe & Jackson, 2014: 325; Rithalahti, 2015: 135).