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Making University-Industry Partnership Work: Lessons from a Private University and Government Collaboration

Universities and industry have been collaborating for over a century, but the rise of a global knowledge economy has intensified the need for strategic partnerships that go beyond the traditional funding of discrete research projects. This study
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  Making University-Industry Partnership Work: Lessons from a Private University andGovernment Collaboration  Amaal Kinene Nsereko Ph!"  and Wasa##a $ames %i&anuka Ph!"'bstra(t Universities and industry have been collaborating for over a century, but the rise of a global knowledge economy has intensified the need for strategic partnerships thatgo beyond the traditional funding of discrete research projects. This study thereforeaimed at addressing the challenge of bridging the industryUniversity divide byhighlighting what makes universities attractive as industry partners, what structuresmake for e!cellent partnerships and what approach produces seamless interactions."t builds on a growing pool of academic research about the state of industryUniversity collaboration and offers concrete lessons and recommendations from a private University collaboration with government. The study, therefore, tried toanswer the following #uestions$ what makes for a seamless relationship betweenUniversity and industry% &hy do so many partnerships produce disappointingresults or fail% And how can visionary companies and their academic partnerssuccessfully overcome their inherent differences to forge a higher level of strategic partnership% The study employed the Triple 'eli! (odel of )ollaboration toclearly highlight the responsibility of each element in the partnership. %ey&ords: University"ndustry*overnment +U"* -artnership, ocationalism,)ollaboration Introdu(tion &hen companies and Universities work in tandem to push the frontiers of knowledge, they become a powerful engine for innovation and economic growth. New technologies sprout outat a breakneck pace, transforming industries and highlighting the current role of theUniversity. "n short, these partnerships have transformed the role of the /0stcenturyUniversity, anchoring it as a vital )entre of competence to help tackle social challenges anddrive economic growth.Today, it is widely accepted that higher education is critical for economic growth andnational competitiveness. 1!cellence in scientific research and better linkages to industry andgovernment are regarded as key policy priorities in practically all developed and developingcountries, with more governments developing e!plicit innovation strategies with varioussupport programs to encourage universities to take on greater economic roles. 1mphasis onUniversityindustrygovernment partnerships is a global trend not only developed countries but also in emerging economies and increasingly in developing countries. Uganda is no e!ception in this respect. The government of Uganda has recently launched the National 2evelopment -lan +N2-"" which is aimed at achieving Uganda ision /343. The 1. 8 th  Annual Forum of the East African Higher Educaon Quality Assurance Network, Kigali   goal of this -lan is to propel the country into middleincome status by /3/3 with a per capitaincome of U52 0,366. This will be reali7ed through strengthening the country8scompetitiveness for sustainable wealth creation, employment and inclusive growth. The N2-"" is meant to strengthen the country8s competitiveness for sustainable wealth creation,employment and inclusive growth. Thus, the -lan sets key objectives to be attained duringthe 9 year period. These include +i increasing sustainable production, productivity and valueaddition in key growth opportunities$ +ii increasing the stock and #uality of strategicinfrastructure to accelerate the country8s competitiveness$ +iii enhancing human capitaldevelopment$ and +iv strengthening mechanisms for #uality, effective and efficient servicedelivery. "n order to achieve these objectives, *overnment will pursue a private sectorled,e!portoriented, #uasimarket and industriali7ation development strategy coupled with anemphasis on skills development.According to this national plan, the human capital development priority area will focus onincreasing the stock of a skilled and healthy workforce towards the production of humancapital to accelerate the reali7ation of the demographic dividend. This development strategyre#uires a strong University, "ndustry, and *overnment +U"* collaboration and partnership.The objective of this paper is to review the current status of a private University in Ugandawhich is collaborating directly with the government to achieve this grand plan. This is alsomanifested in the multifaceted curriculum which puts into consideration the immediate needsof the community.The only way to develop curriculum and instruction models that deliver this skill set to largenumbers of Ugandans is for business and education leaders to build collaborations thatleverage their combined knowledge of labour markets, skills, pedagogy, and students, +:im:acob, /33;. This integration of vocation and employmentoriented goals in academiceducational programs has been termed as <ocationalism=. ocationalism seeks to create amore wellrounded education that satisfies both the demand for skilled employees and theneed for a knowledgeable and engaged citi7enry by integrating the three historic missions of universities> University transfer education, vocational education, and developmentaleducation, +?inda 'arris @ 1velyn *an7glass, /33.Bne of the new vocationalismCs central tenets is the need for institutional innovations toidentify new models of University education as a way to better prepare individuals for highwage, highskill jobs. -artnerships between *overnment, Universities and businesses are onesuch institutional innovation, +Abreu. ( et al=, /33D. Purpose of the study This study therefore aimed at addressing the challenge of bridging the "ndustryUniversitydivide by highlighting what makes universities attractive as industry partners, what structures 2. 8 th  Annual Forum of the East African Higher Educaon Quality Assurance Network, Kigali   make for e!cellent partnerships and what approach produces seamless interactions. "t buildson a growing pool of academic research about the state of industryUniversity collaborationand offers concrete lessons and recommendations from a -rivate University collaborationwith government.The study was informed by three objectives$ i To determine the factors that bind therelationship University, "ndustry and *overnment$ ii To assess the reasons why many partnerships produce disappointing results, and to propose solutions how academicinstitutions can manage and sustain the strategic partnership. The study, therefore, tried toanswer the following #uestions$ what makes for a seamless relationship between University,*overnment and industry% &hy do so many partnerships produce disappointing results or fail% And how can visionary companies and their academic partners with support fromgovernment successfully overcome their inherent differences to forge a higher level of strategic partnership% To ensure this connection, the triple heli! model was employed as a framework for our analysis, +?eydesdorff. ? /339. 1t7kowit7 e!tended the triple heli! model to describe thetripartite development. According to his model, the three separate institutional spheres,universities, industry and government, operate independently from each other initially. Themodel has also been e!tended to describe the positioning of the University E"ndustry*overnment spheres with respect to each other. "n Triple 'eli! ", government plays the leadrole, driving academia and industry. "n Triple 'eli! "", the industry is the driving force, withthe other two spheres as ancillary support structures. "n a knowledgebased society which isconsidered in this study, University and other knowledgeproducing institutions play anincreasing role, acting in partnership with industry and government and even taking the leadin joint initiatives, in a balanced model, Triple 'eli! """. "n this Universityled developmentalmodel, the University takes the lead. The University is the gravitational centre that initiatesthe partnership. "n this case, the very first step to come to a productive partnership is to havea preliminary encounter with industry and the government. )he Islami( University of Uganda *+perien(e The "slamic University in Uganda +"U"U was established by a bilateral agreement betweenthe Brganisation of "slamic )ooperation +B") and the Uganda *overnment. A specialstature was debated and approved by the -arliament of Uganda, streamlining its operationsand terms of references in relation to the *overnment. 5uch an arrangement saw twogovernment officials occupying permanent places on the University )ouncil, +AK 5engendo, /309. 5ince its inception on the 03 th  February 0DD, "slamic University in Uganda has so far had/9 *raduation ceremonies. The University has 4 campuses spread across the country. The 3. 8 th  Annual Forum of the East African Higher Educaon Quality Assurance Network, Kigali   main campus is located in (bale, 1astern Uganda. Bther campuses are$ Kampala )ampus,located at Kibuli 'ill, 1ast of Kampala )apital )ity, The FemalesG campus Kabojja, &est of Kampala )apital )ity and Arua campus in &est Nile Hegion, Northern Uganda. Afundamental transformation has occurred in the localities surrounding the University due toits multiple collaboration with e!ternal organi7ations. As a way to affirm its commitment to the partnership, the *overnment of Uganda donated;.9 acres of land to the University within Kampala city. A land title has already beenac#uired and the s#uatters cleared. The institution re#uested "nternational 2evelopmentIank &a#f 2epartment to help finance the wa#f. "2I has already approved U5J 033,333to conduct feasibility for the &a#f. The government has also been influential and supportivethroughout the years in ensuring that the University is connected to productive local andinternational organi7ations to partner with. (ost of the current University partnerships have been enforced, recommended or blessed by *overnment. These partnerships have resulted in positive engagement with the University communities, +AK. 5engendo, /309.The University has carried out hundreds of community activities including the following>a(edicalsurgical caravans at Kibuli (uslim 'ospital and *ombe 'ospital at which/93 sick and poor Ugandans of all faiths and gender, suffering from hernia wereoperated and treated free of charge. This was with support from 2octors &orldwide,an organi7ation from Turkey, b(edical eye caravans carried out in "ganga, (bale, Iusia, Arua and ?ira 2istrictswhere 9/3 blind Ugandans were operated of cataracts and treated free and give their sight back. An additional 6,333 people with sight difficulties were given freeeyeglasses. c'epatitis I "mmuni7ation in Koboko 2istrict where 6,333 Ugandans wereimmuni7ed against 'epatitis I virus in /30.d&eekly "mmuni7ation of children within (bale 2istrict. Thousands of children in the communities around "U"U have so far been immuni7ed.e)onstructed a house for one poor lady and another one for a poor man in (bale.f)onstructed a threeclassroom block in Bngara E Iukedea 2istrictgBffered scholarships to hundreds of needy students.h5upport from 51NA Foundation of Turkey, the University has established at"U"U FemalesC )ampus a free training course in Tailoring for females who areorphans, school dropouts or widows. Already 000 girls have graduated and currentlyare enrolled in the Tailoring programme at the FemalesC )ampus at Kabojja.i5upported seven groups in Koboko to carry out income generating projects whichwere significantly helped their families. 4. 8 th  Annual Forum of the East African Higher Educaon Quality Assurance Network, Kigali    j&ith support from the "nter health Alliance of the U5A, distributed solar panels torural schools in many districts of Uganda.These partnerships have also included interUniversity collaborations to ensure theeffectiveness of the institution.   Bur partnership with the University of ?ahore +UB? playeda pivotal role in the establishment of the "U"U 'abib (edical -rogramme. The Uo?donated the key e#uipment and books needed to start the (I)hI programme. "t has alsooffered full scholarships to #ualified "U"U staff to do masters and -h2 degrees in medicaland engineering fields as a strategy for capacity building of "U"U human resources inthese fields.2octors &orldwide +2&& of Turkey for the support of human resources, books ande#uipment for the (edical 5chool.The "nternational "slamic University (alaysia +""U( and the "slamic University of Technology +"UT have also continued to provide scholarships and training for "U"U staff atthe postgraduate level. ,tatus of University  Government Partnerships: Initial findings The last decade has seen a significant change in terms of how universities work with industryand government in Uganda. Traditionally, in the absence of coherent government policiesthat allow institutions to take proactive roles in orchestrating the partnerships, manyUniversity"ndustry partnerships have been developed through individual professors privately. 5ince 0D, during the initial foundation of the "slamic University of Uganda, theUniversity administrations became much more active in orchestrating institutional actions, particularly in sourcing for scholarship opportunities from Arabic "nstitutions. The national conte!t has also been ripe in emphasi7ing the need for both private and publicUniversities to work better with industry, various Non  *overnment agencies, locally andinternationally. The result is a diverse array of activities emerging as various types of institutions began to e!plore different options to pursue new relationships with theUniversity. Activities that are emerging include> Conte+t and Motivations to *ngage in Collaborative .esear(h Partnerships &hen Universities and companies decide to engage in collaborative research projects, theydo not do so in a vacuum. "nstead, the governmental recognition for Universities andcompanies are considered, the profile of the University and its specific institutional strategyare all factors that play an important role in sparking opportunities for UniversityIusinesscooperation and in supporting their sustainability over time +A7agra)aro et al, /33D. 5. 8 th  Annual Forum of the East African Higher Educaon Quality Assurance Network, Kigali 
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