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Universities urged to forge collaborations with local, international industries

Universities have been challenged to embrace partnerships with industries in various fields of specialization in a bid to spur a robust educational and economic transformation in the country.
Presiding over the 6th Meru University of Science and Technology graduation Friday , Equity Bank CEO who is also the university’s Chancellor, Dr. James Mwangi reiterated the need for universities to establish collaborations with the existing industries both locally and internationally for effective higher education training.
Dr. Mwangi said the need to have university-industry collaboration and linkages cannot be overstated, while calling on professional bodies and the world of academia to continuously share the dynamics of the labour market demands.
“Through University and industrial collaboration, universities are able to adjudicate quality research and also become an important source of ideas. That can be converted to commercially viable products and services for economic growth,” he stated.
He noted that such a partnership would facilitate demand driven programmes and curricular, identification of research problem of common interest, identification of industry staff to serve as adjunct faculty, opportunity for industrial attachment and internship for students.
He therefore appealed to the universities to endeavor to strengthen the emerging collaborations between higher learning institutions and industries within the country and in the East African community.
Dr. Mwangi lauded the government for its efforts in coming up with robust policy frameworks in science, technology and innovation which is enabler in developing industrial and entrepreneurial knowledge with a view of rolling out new products to satisfy the country’s economic growth.
He further challenged universities to look for feasible mechanisms and skills needed in the local industries.
He maintained that the Big Four Agendas were anchored on industrial development, thus calling on higher learning institutions to come up with study programmes that help in meeting the demands of the growing industry.
He urged students to fully utilize talent and innovation centres being established in their learning institutions for them to the existing and upcoming career demands.
Meanwhile, Meru University Vice Chancellor Prof. Romanus Odhiambo appealed for support in improving the accommodation sector to help protect students.
Prof. Odhiambo noted that a huge number of students were residing outside the university due to inadequate accommodation facilities within the institution.
“Over 90 percent of our students reside outside the university facilities and there are insecurity cases in the places they live. There are poor roads to the university and the fear of elephants’ invasion,” he highlighted.
Over 1,200 graduands were conferred with degrees, diplomas and certificates in the occasion where Odhiambo was also inaugurated as the second VC of the Meru University.
By Richard Muhambe

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