University-industry partnership

Partnership between University and industry is one of the most strategy for technology development and useful tool for assuring the effectiveness and efficient application of science and technology to the resolution of social problems. It is a very logical strategy for building technological capacity and promoting economic development in the country. The partnership can bring together those who generate knowledge (the University) and those who utilize that knowledge (industries) for economic development such partnership take many forms including the joint execution of research project, development of curricula and practical exercises. The University can exploit the opportunity offered by the partnership to enable the staff and the students to obtain valuable practical experiences, get job satisfaction and understands the needs of industry. Industries can also envisage from the universities an opportunity to use the academic staff as consultants in execution of technical assignments.

In most Universities in the country, including Wollega University partnership between local industries in terms of research and consultancy is not very common because of the nature of industries, which tend to be infant, small number of factories and lack of resources of funding for research activities. The relationship more focuses on practical attachments.

Consequently, the recent emphasis of University-industry partnership of Wollega University is practical attachment which includes practicum, internships and externships and alumni management. These practical attachments contributed to the students personal and professional development through challenging work assignments, career related experience to complement what is learned theoretically in the classroom.

These practical attachments have the following benefits for the prospective graduates

  •  Opportunity to work in career related or professional environment.
  •  Provide career awareness for the graduates.
  •  Give the graduates the chance to, educate, reflect up on and try a career field.
  •  Provide valuable experience that help secure future employment.
  • Allow graduates the opportunity to work in their area of intended specialization.

According to 2003 academic year about 1880 students from faculty of Technology, Health Science, Natural Science, Veterinary Science, Social Science, food science, Agriculture and rural development and Language and Journalism have been engaged in practical learning which were carried out in research centers, hospitals, factories/local industries, institutions, business enterprises, geological areas and natural environments. These experiences are also important to academic, personal, and career development. It has a great potential to improve the quality of education and can build their skill and will contribute to their future career success.

The strive that the University have been made to provide the students the opportunity to relate theory to practice to maintain the quality of education has been encouraging. Though, the efforts made by the University to establish strong linkage with local factories and government and non-government organizations is encouraging, the University need to develop a long-term vision of their relation with local industries, employers and business organization Generally, by taking in to consideration the potential benefits that the University-industry partnership offers to the society and stakeholders, the University should take the necessary steps to strengthen and continue the existence of partnership.

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