Literacy remains the foundation for building a strong developing nation. Teenagers get exposed to tons of opportunities provided by universities. One such opportunity is exposure to various industries and corporations. Learners become more aware of the avenues of their interest so that they can contribute by joining these industries after completing their education. University and Industry collaboration is pivotal to provide the essential experience to these young minds. We can not anticipate a positive outcome of tertiary education if there is a vacuum between industrial productions and academic research. In this article, we will talk about 10 ways to nurture University-Industry Collaboration for boosting the economy of a country.
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Introduction to University-Industry Collaboration
UIC in short refers to the interaction which occurs between the different strata of the academic sector particularly the universities and the industrial sector. This interaction leads to the pertinent exchange of technology and contemporary needs of the general masses. The industrial sector is meant to carry out mass production of essential products and services. Academic research, be it qualitative or quantitative, provides answers to all the problems faced by the producers in the form of industries and consumers on the other side.
Importance of University-Industry Collaboration
In general, the rate of university intake is witnessing a gradual decline irrespective of the domain of specialization. This indeed is alarming but you need to look into the basic reason why this thing is happening. If you ask the young learners enrolled in different programs, they take the least interest when they find their degree program of no value in future. If the education has no potential outcome, it is very hard for the teachers to retain the attention of their students who are even coming into their classes.
The growing interest of students towards the online mode of education is not just the result of the pandemic. The basic and massive open online courses offered by renowned universities are indeed the game changers for the future of these young learners. They acquire a set of skills that are trending in these times. Resultantly, these individuals are able to find remote jobs of their interest.
The missing link here is the recognition of contemporary needs of the industry by academia. This awareness should be followed by an overall redesigning of the curriculum for all the academic programs. The academic council ought to integrate some particular courses so that the learners can acquire the requisite set of skills to join the industrial sector.
Related: How education and industry can work together to fill the skills gap?
Steps to Bridge the Gap Between Industry and Academia
Now we are going to talk about some steps to bridge the gap between academia and the industry for uprooting the skills gap once and for all. Our pertinent focus would be to highlight the significance of this linkage, the purpose behind bridging the gap, and how this resultant connection can be practically established by academia and industries.
Training and Mentoring Sessions
If you want to bridge the gap between academia and the industry, you need to organize multiple training sessions for your workforce just to make them realize what is expected from them being part of your group. They ought to learn the organizational culture, values, beliefs, and perspectives established and maintained by an organization. The relevant mentoring would give you results beyond your expectations.
Target Skills over Experience
One of the major reasons behind the rising unemployment is the rigorous criteria maintained by most organizations which prefer an experienced individual over the other competitors. Companies have to realize and understand the changing dynamics of working under the booming digital marketing and remote work routines. Individuals tend to develop multiple skills by learning from their experiences while serving several organizations. This would of course make their total number of years quite less compared to an applicant who has continuously served a single organization at a particular position. The employers have to reconsider their perspectives and give that person, who has acquired multiple skills, a chance to join their organization.
This individual would help establish a culture where an individual with skills is encouraged and welcomed to join the group instead of a person habitual of performing monotonous jobs and duties.
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Considering Organizational Success Factors
The success of an organizational structure relies on various factors. These include:
- Recruitment of the right workforce
- Sequentially arranging interactive sessions with your employees
- Allocating a particular percentage of an organization’s revenue for providing medical insurance
- Provident funds to employees
- Appreciating and rewarding team members for their outstanding performance
- Keeping their spirits high despite failing to achieve the set goals
- Being transparent to share an organization’s profits and losses so that each employee put one’s endeavor for the welfare of an organization.
Establishing Technical and Vocational Institutes
Most vocational institutes target a particular set of skills for teaching the target audience. Learners are able to set up their own businesses and fulfill the needs and expectations of the general masses. These vocational institutes follow an ideal model which can be replicated to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The theoretical instruction is similar to the principles observed within schools, colleges, and universities. However, the practical fieldwork makes this domain unique, useful, and beneficial for the young learners to contribute to the economy of the country. Universities should hold sessions where the theoretical concepts can be practised in the actual field, particularly within an industry.
Signing MoUs to Work Together for Launching New Products and Services
The endeavor ought to begin with faculty members paying visits to pertinent industries. These visits will help the institute’s administration to have a survey of the facility. This would give a chance to understand the job description, roles, and needs of the industry. It would inform the university about the kind of employees the industry requires.
Consequently, faculty would return mentally prepared to design a curriculum that would develop the essential skills among their pupils. Resultantly, institutes would align their degree programs and diplomas keeping in view the needs and expectations of the marketplace.
Organizing Industrial Forums in Different Universities
Specified places of public gatherings hold industrial forums. They mean to spread the word of a company and collaborate with pertinent industries to create joint ventures. One smart way of bridging the gap between academia and industry is to organize these events within the university premises. Resultantly, most of the young visitors tend to learn from the emerging dynamics of the industrial sector. They identify the different domains with relevant opportunities which match with your interest. Furthermore, teachers and students alike become more aware of the pertinent set of contemporary skills needed to join the leading companies nowadays. The faculty can also redesign their curriculum based on the emerging practices in the industrial sector.
Employer Visit to Different Varsities
The employers ought to hold visits to different institutes for evaluating the curriculum, labs, and equipment to highlight anything missing. This will check the essential requirements for the effective training and development of the young talent so that these individuals can take on the responsibilities after their degree completion. This can also be done in the form of job fairs held in different institutes on an annual basis. As a result, various aspirants would get a chance to interact with their prospective employers and realize the skills that these individuals are seeking within their workforce.
Collaborate while Onboarding Newbies
The alumni, mentors, and trainers are not easily accessible with reference to onboarding and training sessions for the new employees of your company. So you need to think of some alternatives to meet the expectations of the newbies. The best strategy being adopted by various companies is holding micro-learning sessions which are based on small modules of almost 10 minutes each. Faculty can play a pivotal role in designing and implementing these onboarding sessions through an online mode of training.
The outcome of welcoming the new recruits, giving them the introduction to your company, highlighting the past achievements, and pointing out the present goals would certainly keep your team onboard. The employees will not face an information overload and these modules would clearly lay down a complete road map of targets, expectations, and the challenges for the new employees.
Design a New Course for Industrial Visits
One smart strategy is to give your young learners a chance to observe the industrial environment. Institutes can incorporate visits to different organizations and include their schedule within their curriculum. The allocation of credit hours to such visits helps students to maintain high standards within their grading. This also paves the way for getting the right exposure from the prospective workplace. The learners would attain the appropriate mentoring from the individuals already a part of an organization. The suggestions and recommendations given by the employees would be based on their practical experience in the field.
Thus, these visits would act as a source of motivation for young learners. They can determine their own future based on what they have learned from several industrial visits.
Allocating Funds For Research
Industries ought to encourage and support the research programs of the academic sector. Their funding would help faculty and research in bearing the expenses of all the essential tools of research. The findings would provide benefit to the industrial sector to manage mass production of the same products and specimens.