Many graduates do not secure employment after graduation for lack of adequate skills in various fields. Others could have created their jobs as well as employ many more graduates; but they lack entrepreneurial skills which should have been taught at the university or college.
Prof. Philip Cotton, the new Vice Chancellor for University of Rwanda says there is need for Universities to provide entrepreneurial skills to students so that they may be able to create their own jobs rather than wait for employment.
“We are very good at teaching our students to pass exams but we must also be good to teaching our students to be entrepreneurs,” said Cotton during the University-Industry Linkages Conference in Kigali on Wednesday.
This comes at the time when both the private and public sectors say that graduates from universities do not have the skills the sectors demand for which leads to most being unemployed.
“So we must as Universities come up with ways of making our graduates more competitive and employable,” he told academicians from across Africa, Canada that attended the conference.
The conference organized by Association of African Universities and the University of Rwanda is looking at creating successful strategies to harness the potential of university research and education to the benefits of industry and other relevant social actors.
“We are sharing extensive experiences for the furtherance and enhancement of linkages of African universities with their external stakeholders,” said Prof. Is-Haq Oloyede, former president of the Association of African Universities-AAU.
Accordingly, AAU is the apex organization and forum for consultation, exchange of information and co-operation among institutions of higher education in Africa.
He adds, “We want to make industries interact with universities so that programs that are provided by universities would be resourceful to their demands.”
Oloyede says that government should further extend funding to Universities to enable universities to provide quality programs that would help churn graduates into the job market easily.
Through partnerships and linkages with external stakeholders, experts believe universities will be able to identify opportunities, societal needs and challenges can be addressed through knowledge and competencies.