BA degrees won't propel SA to competitive global economy, argues BLSA COO

Is the BA degree stereotyped by the labour market?

Presenter Eusebius McKaiser facilitated a debate with Business Leadership SA's Busi Mavuso and Wits University lecturer Dr. Danai Mupotsa.

Mavuso says BA graduates alone cannot propel South Africa's economic growth to compete in the global market.

She argues that Humanities qualifications do not prepare graduates with skills currently needed by corporate SA.

IT-related skills, management skills, sales and engineering are the most-sought-after skills across local industries, Mavuso says.

While humanities degrees foster critical-thinking and abstract-thinking skills, she claims graduates are not employable without technical aptitudes.

What is going to position us as South Africa to be globally competitive? Is it a humanities degree? I don't think so.

Busi Mavuso, COO of Business Leadership SA

We need to design interventions and solutions for the country that we have versus the country that we wish for.

Busi Mavuso, COO of Business Leadership SA

Meanwhile, Dr Mupotsa says corporate SA makes many false assumptions about the skills transferred through BA degrees.

She says South Africans need to rethink the value and purpose of university education and knowledge in order to be more imaginative.

Dr Mupotsa argues that the benefits of the BA degree are needed across all academic disciplines in order to create more intersectional workplaces.

Universities need to [produce graduates] across all degree programmes that are equipped with a radical imagination.

Dr. Danai Mupotsa, Head of Department for African Literature at Wits University

If we are going to cut off BA degrees and produce IT graduates who are not taught to think for themselves, that's terrifying for me.

Dr. Danai Mupotsa, Head of Department for African Literature at Wits University

Listen to the engaging debate on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:

Below are some of the responses to the discussion on Twitter:


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