Undergraduate Competences as Labour Market Mechanism for Curriculum Alignment in Ghana: Case of University of Cape Coast School of Business
Keywords:Curriculum alignment, competence-based model, Higher Education, Labour Market demands,
AbstractThe increasing graduate unemployment rate in Ghana is a matter of concern not only to government but also to stakeholders in education. In an era of globalisation, the issue has culminated in discourses about curriculum planning and alignment. Using a concurrent mixed method, the study purposely focused on exploring graduate competences as a labour market mechanism for curriculum alignment. In this regard, 63 participants comprising alumni, Human Resource Managers and lecturers were sampled using multiple procedures. In the end, the study showed that employers’ highly ranked integrated curriculum and their responses favoured an amalgamation of education and practical training tailored to promote organisational growth. A significant difference was found between responses of lecturers and alumni regarding their preference for graduate competences as the basis for curriculum alignment. The study finally advocated, among other things, for competency-based curriculum philosophy as the underpinning variable to underlie Business Education curriculum in Ghana.
AACSB (2008). Accreditation [Electronic Version]. Retrieved August 12, 2008 from
Baah-Boateng, W. (2012). Employment creation challenges, relevant policies and
employment promotion in Ghana. In: Ghana’s Employment Challenges. Accra: Ghana Academy
of Arts and Sciences, p. 123-151.
Baah-Boateng, W. (2013). Determinants of Unemployment in Ghana, African Development
Review, 21(4), 385-399, Wiley Publication, ISSN: 1467-8268.
Boateng K., & Ofori-Sarpong (2002). An analytical study of the labour market for tertiary
graduates in Ghana”, A World Bank/National Council for Tertiary Education and the National
Accreditation Board Project.
Colby, A., Ehrlich,T., Sullivan, W. M., & Dolle, J. R. (2011). Rethinking undergraduate
business education: Liberal learning for the profession. The Business, Entrepreneurship and Liberal Learning (BELL) project. Skoll Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York: Jossey-Bass. visit www.carnegiehighered.org.
Communications of the ACM, 49(7), 35-40.
Cortada, J. W. (1998). Rise of the knowledge worker. Butterworth-Heinemann: Boston, MA.
Council of Graduate Schools. (2007). Graduate education: The backbone of American
competitiveness and innovation. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools.
Darr, A. (2007, June). The knowledge worker and the future skill demands of the U.S. workforce.
Paper presented at the meeting of the National Academies’ Center for Education on Research Evidence Related to Future Skill Demands, Washington, DC.
Denzin, N. K. (1970). The Research Act in Sociology. Chicago: Aldine.
Feltovitch, P. J., Prietula, M. J., & Ericsson, K. A. (2006). Studies of Expertise from
Psychological Perspectives. In K. A. Ericsson, N. Charness, P. J. Feltovitch & R. R. Hoffman (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (pp. 41-66). New York.
Heijke, H., & Meng, C. (2006). Discipline-specific and academic competences of the higher
educated: their value in the labour market and their acquisition in education (No. ROA-W-2006/9E). Maastricht: Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market.
Karseth, B. (1995). The emergence of new educational programmes in the university. Review of
Higher Education, 18(2), 195-216.
Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2009) Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research
Interviewing, Los Angeles, Calif., Sage.
Miles, M. B. & Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis: an Expanded Sourcebook,
Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sage.
MoE (2010) Ghana Education Strategic Plan [ESP] (2010-2020), Government of Ghana, Accra:
Ministry of Education Publication.
NDPC (2010) Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), 2010-2013: Medium
Term National Development Policy Framework, Government of Ghana, Accra: National
Development Planning Commission Publication.
ROA. (2009). The labour market related to education and vocation till 2014. Maastricht: Research centre.
Rychen, D. S., & Salganik, L. H. (Eds.). (2001). Defining and selecting key competences.
Göttingen: Hogefre & Huber.
Stasz, C. (2001). Assessing skills for work: two perspectives. Oxford Economic Papers, 3, 385-
Strauss, A. A. L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social sciences. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge
UCC (2011). Academic policies and regulations for undergraduate studies. (Revised Edition) Cape Coast: University of Cape Coast Press.
Van der Klink, M. R., & Boon, J. (2003). Competences: the triumph of a fuzzy concept.
International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 3(2), 125-137.
Van der Velden, R. K. W. (2006). Generic or specific education. Retrieved from
Voorhees, R. A. (2001). Competency-based learning models: A necessary future. New
Directions for Institutional Research, 110, 5-13.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).