The value of industrial attachment to the archives and records management students at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe
Industrial attachment is a key and integral part of tertiary education. Its incorporation into the learning process is aimed at imparting practical skills to students, which cannot be acquired in classrooms. However, students’ experiences during industrial attachment differ, as some benefit while others find the placement to be a waste of time and resources. Students in the Department of Archives and Records Management (ARM) at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have to go through industrial attachment for one academic year at an organisation that has archives and records management systems in place. This paper sought to establish NUST ARM students’ views on the value of industrial attachment. The study applied a qualitative research methodology and a case study research design. Purposive sampling was used since the selected cohort had just completed its one-year industrial attachment period. Open-ended questionnaires were hand delivered to the students. The findings revealed that ARM students at NUST regard industrial attachment as a very important part of their learning process; industrial attachment had in most cases inspired students to appreciate the ARM profession. The one academic year industrial attachment period was adequate in hosting institutions. The study recommended that NUST RAM department should ensure that industrial attachment is done in a professional and systematic manner in which hosting institutions are genuine and credible collaborating partners. It is hoped that this study will inform curriculum revision especially in the area of practicum in archives and records management.