Managing Youth Unemployment in Developing Economies: An Analysis of Post-Graduate Students’ Learning Preferences in Kenya

Francisca Wavinya Ngala, Rosemary Wahu Mbogo

Abstract

It is a common norm to describe education as being fundamental to employment and growth in developing economies. While the highest rate of return is believed to be most experienced in those economies with both skilled and unskilled labour, the greatest responsibility lies with the highly qualified in education as they are most significant in policy formulation. Despite this, youth unemployment has remained a challenge in the 21st century that most developing countries like Kenya struggle with. This paper entails a study undertaken to explore the management of youth unemployment in Kenya, with a focus on learning preferences of postgraduate students. The study employed a descriptive survey design using the cross-sectional approach to data collection. The population of the study comprised 397 post-graduate students at Africa International University from which a sample size of 199 post-graduate Diploma, Masters’ level and Doctoral students were obtained. Questionnaire guide was used for data collection of information on the age and learning preferences of the students. Data analysis was done by descriptive and inferential statistics using regression techniques and presented in tables.  A modified version of the Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scales (GRSLSS) was the learning style inventory that was used to measure student learning preferences. The findings revealed that the majority 161(95.3%) of post-graduate students were youth and preferred participant, both independent and dependent as well as collaborative learning. The question however is, why has underemployment continued to affect many young Kenyans even with the developing system of education? How can students’ learning preferences be a driver to curbing the menace of unemployment?

Keywords

Student learning preferences, Unemployment, Youth, Higher education, Age, Vision 2030

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