University-industry linkages enhance graduate employability – Prof Adei

Prof. Stephen Adei

Professor Stephen Adei, Former Reactor of the Ghana Institute of Management Public Administration (GIMPA), has called on universities to collaborate with industry to enhance graduate employability.

He said it would also ensure that graduates have the skills and technology to effectively contribute to the workforce with shorter learning aim on the job.

Prof Adei made the call at the African University Day celebration on the theme: “Promoting University-Industry Linkages for Graduate Employability” at Metsio on Monday.

The African University Day was instituted and given international backing as a result of the close links between the African Union and the Association of African Universities (AAU).

Prof Adei said successful university-industry linkage collaboration brought many advantages including provision of new sources of funding with less red-tape than government ones and promotion of innovation and technology transfer.

“Sponsored industrial research provides students and faculty with exposure to real world problems and opportunity to work on intellectually challenging and relevant problem,” he added.

He noted that these types of linkages were often conceived as a three way interaction between universities, government and firms.

The former GIMPA Rector said the universities must go beyond big centres of knowledge and leaning to develop research capacity and become national innovation centres.

He said the government had a role in creating the legislative and enabling climate for patenting, licensing and university-industry technology transfer including giving tax incentives to industry to support such collaboration.

Prof Adei further said the linkages were important but not a panacea to graduate employability.

He said Ghanaian universities had become mainly teaching universities and urgent action was needed to improve on research, adding “l hold the government and public universities more accountable.”

He indicated that a change of mindset in academia was needed to create an atmosphere where both faculty and students would actively see to prepare graduates for the job market

Prof Etienne Ehouan Ehile, Secretary-General of AAU, said the Association was accepted as part of the evolving Pan-African organisations under the general umbrella of the African Union.

He said AAU was the designated lead implementing agency on higher education in the African Union’s Second Decade of Education for Africa from 2006 – 2015.

Through its Quality Assurance Programme, the Association is collaborating with the African Union Commission to promote quality development and assurance in African higher education in all its dimensions.

“The AAU has also been instrumental in building the capacity of member universities through its programmes, notable of which are the Leadership Development Programme,” he noted.

He announced that AAU was in discussion with the World Bank to implement a project on African Centres of Excellence.

Prof Kwesi Yankah, who chaired the function, said private universities played pivotal role in university education and pledged the commitment of private tertiary institutions to improve on the quality of the academic excellence for national development.

Source: GNA

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