Failed university-industry links escalate joblessness

With many graduates across most of the developing countries unable to secure jobs, links between university education and industry are under intense scrutiny. The failure of companies to employ graduates is blamed largely on irrelevant course content that does not match industry needs. Participants drawn largely from higher education institutions and industry are exploring ways to build partnerships. Both are being blamed for growing graduate unemployment – higher education for its failure to translate theory into practice and curriculum irrelevance, and commerce and industry for lack of human resource planning.

Developing Countries urgently needed policies that would focus on matching universities and industry; a paradigm shift for university education from theoretical to both theoretical and practical. Universities were producing a generation of graduates whose qualifications do not meet job market needs, that universities were not getting it right if they assumed graduates would automatically fit the job market. Human resource plan is past due to help universities concentrate on producing skills demanded by industries, and define what the job market wants.

There are no synergy between industries and universities. Both need each other and Partnerships with the private sector should be top of the agenda. Business entrepreneurs will be interested in being associated with universities, this way it is possible for entrepreneurs to fund ideas that go back to industry.

Industries are not in need of training units, there should be a synergy. There should be mentorship to bridge theory to practice. If people come with innovations and there is no industry to support them, you cannot move on. Jobless graduates could be ‘recycled’ for other use through a transient plan of Continuing Education. That is a proposed student mentoring by “successful individuals in the business world who are honest and genuine” and could draw on their lifelong lessons and experiences to impart guidance and workplace experience to students and graduates.