CTI and Pearson Institute of Higher Education (PIHE)

Technology and Job-Readiness Blend in South African Higher Education Institute

Just as it is in much of the world, employability is a major factor in South African higher education. While the unemployment rate in South Africa has improved moderately (falling from a 12 year high of 27.1% to 26.5% in the last three months of 2016), there is still significant pressure in the system to ensure students are employed at graduation.

The goal of CTI and the Pearson Institute of Higher Education (PIHE), formerly known as MGI, is to transform lives through learning and to produce graduates who are prepared for the world of work. To this end, learners benefit from a diverse range of academic ideas, a range of career-focused qualifications and programmes, and multiple campuses across South Africa.

CTI and PIHE are two separately registered higher education institutions, both wholly owned by Pearson, that serve over 9,000 students across 12 shared campuses in South Africa. Both focus on teaching students real-life career skills and training them to succeed as employable graduates in a competitive 21st century economy.

"The technical skills I obtained from CTI are world-class and have enabled me to be a sought-after candidate in job interviews."

–Ramashita Ramutloa, BSc (Computer Systems) graduate

Intended outcome

Students have a positive learning experience. 

Students provide feedback about their learning experience at the end of each semester. And, graduates can give retrospective feedback on their learning experience through a graduate survey six months after they have completed their qualification.

At the end of 2016 academic year, 79% of CTI current students who responded and 74% of PIHE current students who responded said they were satisfied with the quality of their modules.

In addition, 80% of CTI respondents and 75% of PIHE respondents were satisfied with the quality of their lecturer’s teaching.

Of the 2015 graduating class, 64% of CTI and 73% of PIHE graduates who responded were satisfied with the teaching they received at their institution.

Intended outcomes

Students achieve relevant skills and competency and pass the module

CTI and PIHE classes employ technology to increase engagement and motivation among learners, ultimately helping them to pass their modules and their course.

“Due performance” at CTI and PIHE, or coursework as it is more widely known, can comprise several tasks over the duration of the student’s qualification and is one component of the course which a student must complete in order to pass a module. After students pass the required modules at one level, they progress to the next level of learning.

Pearson sampled the full population of students from CTI and PIHE who were enrolled in the first semester of the 2016 academic year. Of that group:

  • 89% of first year students and 93% of senior year (second and third year) students passed their required modules at CTI in 2016.
  • 86% of first year students and 89% of senior year (second and third year students passed their required modules at PIHE.

Intended outcome

Students progress to employment, post-graduate education, or a professional training programme once they graduate from the institution.

Pearson continues to extend and improve employability skills and support for learners to progress to employment, further education, or training post-graduation.

From a self­-selected sample of graduates from 2015 representing all 12 campuses from CTI and PIHE:

  • 83% of CTI graduates who responded to the Graduate Destination Survey are in full-time, part-time or voluntary work or in further education or training six months after graduating.
  • 69% of PIHE graduates who responded are in full-time, part-time or voluntary work or in further education or training six months after graduating.

"What we do, we do well. All our academic programmes are focused on employability. We have chosen those academic fields that will give you the opportunity to exit with a qualification that is needed in the market"

Dr. Nhlanhla Thwala, Director Teaching Operations, CTI

Technology Fuels Workforce Readiness

Career-readiness is such a steadfast priority that CTI and PIHE have developed a number of strategies to ensure that all of their graduates are well prepared for a highly demanding labor market. For example, a virtual employability center opened in 2016 to serve as a resource hub for students looking to enter the job market. Three physical employability centers now also provide personalised, face-to-face job coaching. Finally, employability or “real world ready” skills are firmly embedded in the CTI/PIHE curriculum, which focuses primarily on information technology, commerce, and law.

“We often get positive feedback from employers about how fast our graduates adapt and become productive in the workplace,” says Dr. Dolf Steyn, Director of Teaching Operations, PIHE

In addition to employability, CTI has placed a premium on the importance of technology as a catalyst for engagement in the classroom. Since Pearson acquired CTI in 2013, the institute has embraced technology in the classroom, examining where it can improve and support the learning experience by offering every student a tablet with pre-loaded digital textbooks. Lecturers at CTI have also been trained in specific teaching methods that are based firmly in the use of learning technologies. The technology skills students acquire and master during their studies are also key real world ready skills empowering graduates to be more likely to gain employment.

Age/Stage: Higher Education

Type: Learning Institution

Report Downloads

Read how we conducted the research in the 2015-2016 Research Report.