Private Sector Calls for Closer Ties With Universities

1326 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Rosemary Ssenabulya, the executive director Federation of Uganda Employers for instance pointed out skills mismatch as the key challenge that must be tackled to reap higher education dividends. She says hotels are employing foreigners because of lack of qualified Ugandans.

Private sector experts are calling for closer cooperation between industries and institutions of higher learning to address skills gap. 
  
Speaking at the ongoing dialogue on the link between higher education and national development in Uganda, organised by the Makerere University Visitation Committee, different players in the business and employment sectors argued that for higher education to be relevant, the two sectors should cooperate to find out what kind of graduates should be trained.
  
Rosemary Ssenabulya, the executive director Federation of Uganda Employers for instance pointed out skills mismatch as the key challenge that must be tackled to reap higher education dividends.  She says hotels are employing foreigners because of lack of qualified Ugandans.
 
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Ssenabulya noted that many employers are struggling with the quality of university graduates due to skills mismatch. She said employers have no option rather than trying to equip graduates with requisite skills on job.
 
She also called for a discussion between employers and universities before sending out students to do internships. She said employers receive students for industrial training but they just come with letters, adding that there has not been any discussion between employers and universities to agree on what students need to learn during internship.
 
Ruth Musoke from the Private Sector Foundation said universities should have private sector representatives on their council for direct link between the two sectors.
 
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She said higher institutions of learning should be analysing job trends in the coming years to train graduates who will take up such jobs. She also argued that universities should train graduates who can easily get employment in the informal sector which dominates Uganda's sector.
 
Dr Abel Rwendeire, the Makerere University Visitation Committee chairperson, said the dialogue is meant to provide a platform to discuss links between higher education and national development in Uganda with particular reference to Makerere.
 
He said there is need for key higher education stakeholders to build a consensus on how universities can prepare graduates with relevant skills.
  
Under the theme 'The linkage Between Higher Education and National Development', the views from the dialogue will form part of the findings of the committee.
  
President Yoweri Museveni appointed the nine-man visitation committee in November last year to investigate the challenges that have triggered rampant strikes at Uganda's oldest university.  

 

About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.