Universities in the country have been urged to publish authentic research papers in order to support the nation’s industries and government policies.
Speaking Thursday during a stakeholders’ breakfast forum at the University of Nairobi (UoN), held to discuss the establishment of a modern Graduate School of Business, renown businessman Dr Chris Kirubi said there was need to develop research to respond to the county’s development needs so as the industry can find case studies to base their innovations on.
“Universities such as Harvard are successful because they pioneer research, publish more authentic and relevant research and work closely with the industry and also shape government and public policies,” he said urging varsity dons to speed up their quest to publish academic work.
He further challenged the academia to partner with the industry so as to produce a labor force required by industries as opposed to churning out graduates without requisite skills to match the demands of a changing industrial environment.
“Most graduates lack practical experience forcing companies to spend huge sums of money on training new employees,” he observed adding, “Universities should define the needs of industry and respond to market needs.”
In his remarks, UoN Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi, assured stakeholders that the university was ready to provide leadership by developing the right labor for the market. “Times have changed and the market demands of the 21st century require us to re-engineer our programs so as to work in close partnership with the Industry and support each other,” Mbithi noted.
Mbithi further disclosed that plans were underway to establish more programmes targeting government and business leaders as the university seeks to harness knowledge to be used as a point of reference by policy makers. “The University intends to launch Executive Development Programmes targeting managers in government, business and industry, not forgetting international clients,” he said.
According to Prof Mbithi, the Graduate School of Business to be housed in the newly completed edifice – University of Nairobi Towers- will also help the university enhance digital learning platforms in order to tap into the international market. The meeting brought together stakeholders drawn from Safaricom Limited, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Cooperative Bank, Equity Bank, IBM, Barclays Bank, Kenya Revenue Authority, among others.