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10 Reasons, why University needs Industry and Industry, needs University?

10 Reasons, why University needs Industry and Industry, needs University?

University-Industry linkage is critically important for the advancement of academia, growth of budding industries and development of national economies. This bourgeoning alliance is driven, mainly by educational, social, economic, scientific and technological forces. The public funding for higher education and research has dried up over the years, whereas, the forces of competitiveness, recognition of the centrality of the knowledge economy and the sense of inevitability of the innovation ecosystem have become more significant than ever before.

Indeed, universities in developing countries have failed to attain the anticipated level of excellence in academics and research. Whereas, the industrial sector in the emerging economies has its own set of bottlenecks in reaching the required competitive level. Hence, this rather new but complex kind of association between university and industry could not be germinated in the developing countries. The purpose of this blog is to identify the ten most compelling reasons for the industry to link with the university and the university to collaborate with the industry.

Introduction

In the rapidly changing world, there is a strong realization of the significance of inter-organizational collaboration. University-industry linkage is the term used for the relationship, interaction, partnership, collaboration and cooperation between the two trenchant organizational structures having distinct philosophies, visions, missions, goals and objectives where both the entities must be responsive to the dynamic, ever-changing environmental forces having a futuristic orientation. The blog post, “Developing strong university-industry linkages: A real need of the time” has elaborated what the term university-industry linkage connotes, the significance of the university-industry linkages, why university-industry linkages have not been established? and finally, how to develop an alliance between universities and industries?. This article highlights the 10 most powerful impetus for developing and promoting linkages between the university and industry.

Importance of university-industry linkages

The evolving cut-throat competition, shorter product life cycle, rising demand for technological innovation, volatile market conditions and the ever-increasing cost of research provided sound justification for the organizations to foster collaboration with the institutions of higher education. University-industry collaboration is instrumental in fortifying the ability of the universities to undertake high-quality research and enhance the capability of the firms to compete globally.

The stimulus for the industry to team up with the university

There are many fascinating reasons for the industries to develop linkages with the universities. The topmost among these include:

  1. Access to potential students and well-groomed graduates
  2. Access to qualified researchers, professionals, experts and knowledgeable faculty
  3. Access to the latest techniques, innovative technologies and new methodologies
  4. Access to universities’ state-of-the-art labs, tools and facilities
  5. Access to the latest scientific knowledge and latest research findings
  6. Fostering good community relations for enhancement of the prestige
  7. Resolution of the pressing business problems
  8. Stimulate the development and commercialization of cutting-edge technologies
  9. Access to unique research skills/ basic and applied research results
  10. Reducing costs of recruiting and selection, continuing education and training.

The most powerful stimulus for the university to join forces with industry

Institutions of advanced learning interact with industrial firms for a variety of reasons. The most important among these are:

  1. Obtain basic research funding and necessary financial support
  2. Avenues for capacity building and internship opportunities
  3. Employment opportunities for the universities’ graduates
  4. Access to industrial expertise and knowledge gain from the industry researchers
  5. Exposure of the faculty and students to the practical real-world problems
  6. Access to empirical data available in the industry 
  7. Industrially sponsored research projects
  8. Collaborative work on intellectually challenging scientific research.
  9. Transfer of applied research to the industries
  10. Enrichment of teaching experience of the faculty in line with modern techniques and gaining knowledge of the latest trends and challenges to develop curriculum accordingly.

Conclusion

University-industry linkages have brought forth tremendous results for the developed countries. Universities in this part of the world must learn from the best practices prevailing in the developed nations. It suggested that the classroom engagements should be considered as a partial requirement for the completion of a degree program, whereas, the industrial firms or business concerns must train the students to complete the rest of the requirements for conferment of a degree for which sweeping reforms shall be required in the higher education sector.

Professional disciplines such as IT and Engineering should have faculty members having practical experience in industrial settings. The campuses must ensure that the teaching faculty is cognizant of the latest trends, challenges and difficulties faced by the industrial partners in order to allow the linkages to flourish.

This next blog post will discuss the The 10 most powerful barriers in developing strong university-industry linkages?

About Dr Syed Hafeez Ahmad

Having a doctoral degree in human resource management, Dr. Syed Hafeez Ahmad is currently working as Additional Controller of Examinations, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar. He previously served the same university as Additional Registrar. These are mid-career level positions in the university's administration. Besides, he is working in the capacity of a team leader and founder of the Career Development & Research Centre, a startup launched in the Business Incubation Center of Khyber Medical University. He is having more than 18 years of professional experience in academic management with special interest in public sector higher education reforms, sustainability, academic leadership and universities' governance. He is a research blogger, Amazon associate and a YouTuber.

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