IUCEA in partnership with private sector to produce ideal university graduates for job market

Prof. Mayunga Nkunya
Prof. Mayunga Nkunya

The Inter University Council for East Africa (IUCEA)  has teamed up with the public and private sectors to foster the production of good quality graduates who are fit for the current job market.

Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, Executive Secretary for Inter University Council for East Africa says the academia alone can hardly produce  ideal graduates with the relevant skills without the intervention of the other parties.

He notes that there is always a blame game between the private sector that absorbs the graduates and the academia who are directly involved in training the graduates.

A study done by IUCEA in 2014 showed that majority of university graduates lack the necessary skills needed for the job market.

It revealed that 63% of Ugandan university graduates passed out have inadequate skills needed for the job market while Tanzania stands at 61%.

The percentage for those from Kenyan universities with ill prepared skills for the job market stands at 51% while Burundi stands at 55%  and Rwanda at 52%.

The study by Inter University Council for East Africa (2014) showing the percentage of graduates with inadequate skills for the job market across the East African Countries.

As a result, the Inter University Council for East Africa (IUEA) resolved to be holding Annual Academic-Public-Private Partnership Forum and Exhibitions on a rotational basis across the East African countries.

University graduates cheering up their completion during a graduation ceremony.
University graduates cheering up their completion during a graduation ceremony.

They are jointly organised by IUCEA, East African Business Council (EABC) and East African Development Bank (EADB).

The first was held in Arusha, Tanzania in 2012.

“The Forum and Exhibitions are aimed at enabling the academia, the public and private sectors to display practical aspects of their operations, products and services and achievements as away of enhancing linkages between the academia, the public and the private sectors in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship development in the region,” Prof. Mayunga Nkunya says.

The Forum for 2015 is set for two days at Imperial Golf View Hotel in Entebbe, Uganda from 22nd to 23rd October under the theme; “Developing an ideal graduate through Academia-Public-Private-Partnership”.

While speaking during a press briefing at Grand Imperial Hotel Kampala, Uganda on 25th August 2015, Prof. Mayunga Nkunya highlighted on key topical issues that will be discussed during the forum and Exhibition.

Prof.Dr.Hubert Roth, the chair of Automatic control engineering institute and Director of the Centre for International Capacity Development at the university of Siengen in Germany will discuss the topic, “Development of an ideal graduate for sustainable social-economic Development: Lessons from around the world“.

Prof. Berhanu Abegaz, Executive Director, African Academy for Sciences will moderate a panel discussion on the topic, “Developing the ideal graduate: What does it entail

And “the role of Public-Private partnership in developing an ideal graduate,” is the other topic to be discussed at the forum.

This topic will be moderated by Prof.Tan Kay Chuan, Director, office of quality management, National university of Singapore.

Below is the the audio recording of the speech presented by Prof. Mayunga Nkunya, the Executive secretary for  Inter University Council for East Africa during a press conference at Grand Imperial Hotel Kampala, Uganda on 25th August 2015.

 But what could be lacking in the Education system.

Despite the ongoing efforts for the integration of the East African Community, Countries in East Africa are yet to harmonies the education system.

Each country follows a different system and the duration of going through the complete cycle of the entire education system differs, the time actually spent in school and the competencies acquired at the completion of each cycle are not the same.

A system could for example take one or so many years more than the other but the competencies acquired could hardly be comparable.

What should be done;
Below are tabs showing views of some people on what should be done to produce an ideal graduate

Dr Ahmed Kawesa Sengendo

Dr.Ahmed Kawesa SengendoBesides the education system, Dr Ahmed Kawesa Sengendo, the rector of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) puts the blame on the lower schools; primary and secondary that feed the higher institutions with ill prepared students.

“We need to start preparing students from the start and not only wait for them to reach university before we start thinking of equipping them with necessary skills for the job market,” Dr Sengendo advises.

Prof. J.C Ssekamwa

Prof J.C SsekamwaProf. J.C Ssekamwa, an educationist in Uganda says that universities should build strong linkages with the private sector and employers to allow students to acquire enhanced training designed to inculcate practical skills and competence based training.

He however advises all graduates to aim at keeping time when employed and work in search a way that will eventually make them become indispensable at their workplaces. You should also work as professional people; you should be objective and act as a good example to the people who see you in action.

Mr.Edward Lumala

Lumala EdwardMr.Edward Lumala who works with the admissions’ office at Nkumba University says, “We need an education system that offers opportunity for all students, not just the advanced and those who are struggling;  it should be student-centered; and  students can work on specific skills or knowledge until they can demonstrate their understanding and ability to apply them at work”.

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