n Mousaion - An assessment of Makerere University Library and Information Science students' participation in field attachments

Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Government and employers alike expect universities to provide "work ready" graduates who have the professional skills and knowledge necessary to fit and deliver quality service in the workplace. Providing students with authentic learning experiences that are needed to acquire these skills is an ongoing challenge for universities in Uganda and across the globe. It is therefore necessary for a university to build linkages with stakeholder - particularly employers - for sustainability and growth. Such linkages provide an avenue for university graduates to acquire practical training and workplace exposure through field attachments. This study was conducted at the East African School of Library and Information Science (EASLIS), Makerere University in Uganda, to establish the categories or types of organisations where students do field attachments; to determine the types of tasks assigned to students during field attachment; to establish students' opinions towards the field attachment programme; to determine the benefits students derive from participating in field attachments; to determine the challenges field attachments pose; and to propose strategies to improve on field attachments for library and information science (LIS) education in Uganda. Data were collected from third-year students who had participated in field attachments as part of their LIS education and training at EASLIS. Data collected using a structured questionnaire give informative pointers for LIS policymakers, academics, LIS curriculum designers, practitioners and organisations on how best field attachments can be conducted and managed in LIS education and training. The study highlights the tasks students participated in during field attachments and tasks they would prefer to participate in. It also highlights major benefits and challenges of field attachments, and recommends a number of solutions to some of the problems facing field attachments at EASLIS.

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