CHAPTER predominantly vocational or career?focused offerings. It is



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is prudent to foreground this study by giving a brief background about South
Africa’s higher education landscape, so that the programme offered (Vocal Art)
within the higher institution of learning under scrutiny (Tshwane University of
Technology) could be contextualised. According to Bunting and Cloete (2010), the South
African higher education policy structure has three institutional categories,
which are universities of technology, universities and comprehensive
universities. These are defined as follows: Universities of technology which
predominantly cater for vocational or career?focused undergraduate diplomas and
Bachelors of Technology and a limited number of masters and doctoral
programmes. Meanwhile, universities offer basic formative degrees such as BA
& BSc, and professional undergraduate degrees such as BSc Engineering and
MBChB; and a variety of honours degrees, masters and doctoral degrees at
postgraduate level. On the other hand, comprehensive universities straddle
between programmes typical of universities as well as those typical of
universities of technology. Tshwane University of Technology belongs to the
first category, i.e. predominantly vocational or career?focused offerings. It
is therefore against this background that the study will look at Tshwane
University of Technology’s vocal art programme.

Employment opportunities
for Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Vocal Art graduates have become a great concern.  Employment
issues, in general, affect the entire youth of South Africa and globally. According
to KPMG International, (2014), leaders and young people around the world are
acutely aware that youth employment levels are alarmingly high and the problem
is getting worse. Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) (2014) added that the
upsetting consequences of rising challenges in employment are often seen in our
youth. Employment has become a significant point of interest for South African
scholars and researchers. Already in 2010, the Department of Labour (2010),
published that unemployment in the age group 15 to 34
years was high. The study by Department of Labour (2010), demonstrates that this
age group constitute 65%. Unemployment had increased in all
age groups from the second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010. This study was motivated by a controversial
argument made by fellow young artists and graduates concerning employment
opportunities for graduates in South Africa and across the globe. It is
interesting to note that whereas, Van Der Berg and Van Broekhuizen (2012) contended that graduates have been making a success in bridging
from university to the workplace in recent years, scholars such as Oluwajodu, Blaauw, Greyling and Kleynhans, (2015) have argued
that the majority of graduates in the last century have been struggling to get
employment. This has led to considerable debate among researchers and scholars.
The research community still has unanswered questions regarding the issues of
employment opportunities and challenges experienced by Vocal Art graduates, and
these apply also to Tshwane University of Technology.