Academia, industry debate graduates employability
This comes when The Citizen newspaper had yesterday reported on the reasons why graduates were having a tough time in the labour market despite the fact that most of them have good GPAs, a top agenda in the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)’s seventh Research and Innovation Week 2022 on Tuesday. At a strategic partnership dialogue on maximising University-Industry linkage in Research and innovation for Societal Impact yesterday, UDSM’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Prof Bonaventure Rutinwa appealed to industry stakeholders and companies to cooperate with the university in various areas to impart required skills to students. “If you do not cooperate with us in resolving the issue of employment before students graduate, then you will be incurring costs in retraining them while at the same time paying them salaries,” said Prof Rutinwa. Prof Rutinwa also called on industry stakeholders to have a strategy to provide scholarships for college students so that together they can groom better employees. “If we want our students to be relevant and employable, we would have to introduce them to the market quite early, but this can only materialise if you (industry) help us in doing so,” he noted.
But, Ms Miranda Naiman, Founder and Managing Partner, Empower limited said for a long time universities have been working in asylum without knowing what the private sector wants from research as well as graduates. “It’s not all about being employable, but also about being entrepreneurial. “People are looking for attitude and skills which are more important than the pieces of paper that graduates have. JamiiForums co-founder Maxence Melo said universities in the country do not know what the market is like, which is why it is still possible to create students for employment and not self-employment. “Universities are learning hubs, but it has reached times that you must also be ready to unlearn and relearn from the experience in the current industry needs.
In another development, Research-Industry linkage Index Scores by year 2018 ranked Tanzania last among the top countries around the East and Southern Africa. The report under the Global Innovation Index Report by World Intellectual Rights Organisation (Wipo) ranks Tanzania at 41. Mr Unguu Sulay, managing director Coca-Cola Kwanza Limited noted that there were issues with the way Tanzanian researchers packaged their findings and also communicated them to the industry. “Universities must communicate the language of the market and be ready to cope with the changes needed in the industries…,” he said.
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