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Existence of and benefits from linkages between university

  1. 1. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED RESEARCH International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 – 6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332MANAGEMENT Issue 2, July-December (2012) IN (Online), Volume 3, (IJARM)ISSN 0976 - 6324 (Print)ISSN 0976 - 6332 (Online)Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012), pp. 50-62 IJARM© IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijarm.asp ©IAEMEJournal Impact Factor (2012): 2.8021 (Calculated by GISI)www.jifactor.com EXISTENCE OF AND BENEFITS FROM LINKAGES BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND INDUSTRY IN ETHIOPIA A.S. KANNAN Assistant Professor in Finance and Accounting College of Business and Economics Dilla University Email: ProfessorKannan@gmail.com ABSTRACT Set with the objectives of assessing current status of partnership between higher education and industry, and identifying the nature and extent of linkages, the benefits accruing out of such alliances, this research was carried out by conducting a survey and interviews among the randomly selected respondents from both entities. The study was confined to Dilla, the zonal capital of Gedeo in SNNPR State in Ethiopia. 53 institutional responses and 60 industry responses were found to be in order. Following were the major findings from this study: (i) linkages in the areas of “employment support”, “academic and research support”, and “business relationship” existed; (ii) both would benefit from such linkages; (iii) major benefits accruing to higher institutions were the ability to produce industry-fit candidates, feasibility to research and solve real-life business problems, and ability to enhance manpower quality and employability; and (iv) major benefits accruing to industry were increase in productivity and service quality, technological innovations leading to improved performance, and reduction in training costs. Recommendations included (a) technical sessions with industry experts; (b) data bank on available practitioners; (c) encouragement to take up real issues for research; (d) setting up Industry-Institute-Partnership-Cells; (e) industry coming forward to sponsor; (f) liberal contribution of funds and data for research; (g) tax exemptions to research fund contributions; and (h) Education Ministry assigning weights in affiliation processes to alliances forged. KEY WORDS Industry-Institute Partnerships, Ethiopia, University Linkage with Industries, Benefits of Linkages. 50
  2. 2. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)BRIEF INTRODUCTIONAcademic institutions are the temples of learning. Teaching staff in higher institutionsusually carry out their tasks in a three dimensional fashion – teaching, research andconsultancy. In addition to their major commitment towards teaching learning process,academicians are entrusted with certain allied tasks such as curriculum designing, coursedevelopment, counseling and guidance, mentoring, advising, and so on. In a technical sense,they parent the students in their entire campus life, and direct them to the path of success andglory.Industries engage themselves in producing goods and services in order to satisfy varyingconsumer needs. There are manufacturers, retailers, and service firms. Manufacturersundertake the production process, by bringing together the raw materials and skilled labor,and turn them into finished products ready for consumption. Retailers buy those finishedgoods on a wholesale basis and take them to the doorsteps of the ultimate consumers.Service organizations take care of auxiliaries to trade, such as banking, insurance,transportation, warehousing and distribution services. The service firms facilitatecomfortable and convenient performance of trading and manufacturing activities – withoutwhich what is generally pursued as a routine and simple task may prove to be mostcumbersome and risky.Though these two entities seem to travel on their destined paths without crossing eachother’s, one may understand that there is a practical need for cooperation and coordinationamong them. Time and again, academic institutions do require various kinds of productsproduced and services rendered by the industries. Similarly, industries depend on higherinstitutions for the supply of skilled manpower, providing training to them, and upgradingtheir skills through various forums and workshops.THE PROBLEM STUDIEDThe cooperation between higher institutions and industry is highly significant from viewpoint of the society. Both entities work towards the ultimate common goal, viz., communitywelfare. By providing quality education, the higher institutions make their products highlyemployable, thereby enabling them to earn their living satisfactorily. This process willultimately result into enhancements in standards of living and thus lead to communitywelfare. Industries provide quality goods and services for social consumption, thus makingtheir way of living better and comfortable – thus leading to community welfare.In a relay race, the success of the team depends on the optimal performance of every player inthe relay. Similarly the betterment of the society depends on the cooperation between twomajor players – the higher institutions and industry. Though one can assume that they areexpected to work in coordination, the reality is not exactly so. For various reasons the degreeof cooperation varies from society to society. Empirical evidence proves where thepartnership between higher education and industry is at its height, multiple benefits flow tothe players as well to the society. Ethiopia, being a democratic federal republic of recenttimes, has to work its way to forge these kinds of alliances in order to reap benefits to theirfullest measure. The aim of this paper is to assess the partnership between higher educationand industry in the current scenario, and to elicit and analyze the opinions of players in therespective entities. This paper tries to address the following research issues:• What are the different types of linkages that exist between higher education and industry?• Have these linkages been in existence for long, or are they of recent origin?• Are they of considerable magnitude or on a tiny scale? 51
  3. 3. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)• Who – between the two entities, higher education and industry – are considered greater beneficiaries of these linkages?• What are the potential benefits of such linkages to higher education and to industry? Which among them are considered most significant ones?• What role should other bodies and higher authorities need to play in the whole scenario?OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDYThe major objective of the study is to assess the current status of partnership between highereducation and industry in Ethiopian context.The specific objectives are: • To identify the nature and level of linkages that exist between higher education and industry • To assess the benefits accruing to higher institutions and to industry from such linkages • To forward appropriate suggestions to key stakeholders of the issueSCOPE OF THE STUDYThis study was confined to Dilla – a major city in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, andPeoples Region State of Ethiopia, and the zonal capital of Gedeo. Though physicallyconfined to Dilla, this study did take into account the respondents from various parts of thecountry currently employed in higher institutions and industries in and around the city.Significance of the studyConsidering the fact that not many studies of this issue were carried out so far in Ethiopia,this study is considered to be significant. Moreover this study would be useful in bringingabout the much needed awareness about the existence of and potential benefits in forgingstrategic alliances between higher education and industry. Further the recommendationsforwarded by this study are highly contextual and feasible as well as result-oriented. Finally,the study would be useful not only in teaching institutions as a reference material but also totrigger further research on various related issues.METHODOLOGYThis section deals with the methodology adopted in carrying out this research and includesthe research population, sampling applied and sample size, data collection methods, and dataanalysis methods.Research PopulationResearch population of this study comprises two entities, viz., the higher institutionsoperating in Dilla and industries established or operational in Dilla. In respect of higherinstitutions, population includes (i) Teachers with a minimum qualification of a mastersdegree; (ii) officials of the institutions such as presidents, directors, heads, and coordinators;and (iii) administrative staff with a minimum qualification of a first degree. As to industries,population includes employees at various levels of management (viz., top, middle and junior)of financial institutions, major industries, and commercial organizations with a high turnover. 52
  4. 4. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)Those commercial establishments who employ less than 10 persons were not included in theresearch population.Sampling and sample sizeResearch population as described above is estimated to be around 600 for higher institutionsand around 300 for industries in the study area. The sample size is determined at 10 per centof the population. Stratified random sampling is adopted. Samples are drawn from differentstrata of the population, such as teachers in higher institutions, officials of higher institutions,administrative staff of institutions, employees of financial institutions, and employees invarious business enterprises.Data Collection MethodsThis being an empirical study, most of the data pertaining to this study is of primary nature.Primary data from respondents were collected mainly through a survey questionnaire. Ashort questionnaire was developed for this purpose, which consisted of four parts – first partstudying the profile of the respondents, second analyzing the existence of industry-instituteinterface, third identifying the benefits and opportunities of such alliances, and the fourthenumerating the challenges involved and measures to overcome those challenges. In order tofacilitate comfortable data collection as well as detailed information gathering, questionswere designed with a combination of close-ended and open questions. 150 questionnairewere distributed (75 to each entity involved) in all. Out of these, 56 questionnaires fromhigher institutions, and 64 questionnaires from industry were returned within the time limitset for data collection. Upon final scrutiny, 53 of the institution-responses and 60 ofindustry-responses were found to be in order and were taken up for analysis. Interviews wereconducted with a cross section of respondents from both entities to identify the expectationsof industry and higher institutions from each other.Data Analysis MethodsA detailed codification scheme was evolved, and data found on the questionnaire dulyreturned were codified according to the scheme. The coded data were fed on worksheets andvarious tools of descriptive statistics including weighted average and chi-square test havebeen applied.Operational Definitions University: For the purpose of this research, ‘university’ refers to the institutions which impart higher education in Ethiopia. This term includes Public and Private Universities, and University Colleges – who are involved in dissemination of knowledge in various disciplines. Furthermore, the words ‘higher institutions’, ‘higher education’, ‘Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs)’, ‘Institutes’, ‘academics’, ‘academicians’ have been used as synonymous to each other and taken to mean ‘institutions imparting higher learning, that is diploma and higher level programs’. Industry: For the purpose of this research work, ‘industry’ means various business enterprises, organizations and institutions which carry out transactions with or provide services to its customers. Linkage: Throughout this research paper, the words ‘convergence’, ‘interface’, ‘interactions’, ‘partnership’, ‘alliance’, ‘cooperation’, ‘linkage’ and ‘strategic relations’ have been used as synonymous and taken to mean the ‘coordination’ between higher institutions and industry. 53
  5. 5. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)BRIEF REVIEW OF LITERATUREWay back in 1972 in one of six sessions of the Annual College-Industry Conference, entitled“Academic Industrial Interface”, hosted at University of Houston, emphases were placed onvarious aspects including: specified curriculum developments, educational programdesigning, effective educational organizations, design course contents, engineeringeducators profiles, and internship in industry.Carayannis and Alexander (1999) observed that there has been increasing consensus amongacademic scholars, policy makers, and industry practitioners alike that the present and futuresecret of business survival and prosperity lies in strategic partnering and co-opetingsuccessfully through government, university, industry and R&D partnerships.Speaking of Korean evidence in technology transfers through University-IndustryNetworking, Ji Soo Kim (2002) stated that in Korea, industry got direct or indirect help byutilizing the well trained, experienced people from the universities or research organizationswithout looking for appropriate foreign technical consultants.In the view of Santoro and Betts (2002), University research centers have proven to bebeneficial partners for industrial firms seeking new ideas and new technologies. Anempowered Industry-University champion at the firm can be especially effective infacilitating this process, particularly when he or she focuses on each organization’s uniquecontributions and the possibilities they afford for complementary synergies.In their paper which focused on current status of software engineering education in India andsuggestions for improvement so as to best suit the software industry’s needs, Mahanti andMahanti (2005) highlighted that institute-industry interaction should be encouraged; andvisiting faculty from the industry should give lectures on emerging technologies currentlyused in industries to keep the students abreast of the latest developments in industry.According to Gulbrandsen and Nerdrum (2007), the data show that the 1980s were a turningpoint with a strong increase in formal research collaboration between firms and highereducation institutions (HEIs), not only in Norway but across the OECD area. This could bedue to increasing knowledge needs in industry, but probably also due to changed academiccultures.According to Edward (2008), many countries are seeking to strengthen global economiccompetitiveness by building a ‘knowledge economy’ capability. A popular approach issupporting university–industry knowledge exchange linkages. The researcher described thatthe broader relevance of this approach for other institutions and countries, and suggests it issomething other university- government- and industry-based research institutions couldembark upon.Apoorva Bharadwaj and Sahay (2010) made an attempt to present a symbiotic model offunctioning for industry-academia partnerships, identifying the factors that render thepartnership programs dysfunctional and addressing them to explore how the collaboration canbecome a mutually rewarding experience for the partnering entities in the context ofmanagement education.Sharma & Sharma (2012) observed that as the field of MBA is practice-oriented, teachingonly theory will not serve the purpose, and to bridge the gap between theory and practice,strong measures should be taken. People from industries should be invited to widen theacademic spectrum of management students. This will not only enable students to learnpragmatism but will also train them to meet the contemporary requirements of business 54
  6. 6. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)world. The close collaboration of businesses and B-schools will provide enormous value toboth.Evidence of Linkage in the African / Ethiopian contextIndustry’s satisfaction with the interactions was derived from the impressive technical abilityof the research institutes. The industrialists considered the interactive processes a successwhen the institutes undertook projects with a higher degree of technical sophistication thanwas available in the industry. (Technology Policy and Practice in Africa: IDRC Archive)One of the recent evidence in Ethiopian context available on industry-institute alliance is thecase of collaboration between Jimma University and JHPIEGO. The official website of theUniversity reported that Jhpiego has handed over HIV/AIDS related e-learning courses toCollege of Public health and Medical Sciences at Jimma University, in February 1, 2012. Thee-learning courses were developed with PEPFAR funding provided through CDC. Thecourses include Basics of HIV, Provider Initiated HIV Testing and Counseling (PITC),Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT), Anti-Retroviral Therapy(ART), Infection Prevention (IP) and TB/HIV.DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATIONSA short survey was conducted to assess the partnership between higher education andindustry. The questions were mostly objective, but contained a few open questions to enablethe participants to give their piece of mind. In all 124 participants took part in the survey, outof which 113 were found to be in order: 53 were from Institutions and 60 were from Industry.The following paragraphs present the summary of the data obtained in a brief manner:Part-I: Profile of the ParticipantsOut of 75 questionnaire distributed to a cross section of teaching and administrative staff(involving top, middle and junior management levels) of higher educational institutions, 56were returned by the time the data were compiled, and finally 53 of them were found to be inorder and considered for analysis. Out of 75 questionnaire distributed to a cross section ofemployees of industries (including financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies,and microfinance institutions) involving top, middle and junior management levels, 64 werereturned by the time the data were compiled, and finally 60 were found to be in order andconsidered for analysis.Organization Type: In respect of Higher Education, a majority of them belonged toGovernment Institutions, and the balance distributed between Sole Ownership and ShareCompany forms. In respect of Industry participants, an equal percent was found to belong toGovernment and Share Company, while the remaining fell in Sole Ownership, PrivateLimited Company, and Non-Governmental Organizations.Major Activity: With respect to major activity of the participants, while 40 percent of highereducation belonged to teaching, 38 per cent to teaching and administration, and the remaininginvolved in administration or other activities like research. With respect to industryparticipants, while a majority (63 percent) involved in business administration, the remainingwere involved in other activities.Position Held: Among the higher education participants, 4 per cent belonged to topmanagement, 18 to middle management, and the remaining belonged to ‘others’ category. 30percent of industry participants belonged to top management; while 35 percent each belongedto middle management and others.Experience: Participants from higher education profiled with their service with the presentemployer thus: 21 percent for less than a year, 70 percent for less than 5 years, and the 55
  7. 7. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)remaining for more than 5 years. In respect of total period of service the participantspossessed, only 4 percent had a total service of a year, 45 percent had less than 5 years, while51 percent had more than 5 years total service. Participants from industry were showinggreater continuation with their present employer, thus 13, 37 and 50 percent respectivelyrecorded less than a year, less than 5 years, and more than 5 years’ service. As to total periodof service, their profile showed 7, 32 and 61 percent respectively in three categories ofservice period.Age group: Majority of the survey respondents belonged to the age group 25 to 40 years, anda minority belonged the next age group, i.e. 40 to 55 years.Gender: A great majority of the higher education respondents were male, while in industryabout a fifth was female respondents.Educational Background: While the educational background of the higher educationrespondents were graduates and above, that of industry respondents were mostly abovediploma.Monthly Income: None of the respondents were in the income range below 1000 birr, whilethree-fourth of them in both entities was found to be earning more than 3000 birr a month.Thus, to put in nutshell, the profile of the respondents in general was mostly male, well-educated, earning a reasonable monthly income and in most active age group.Part-II: Existence of Industry-Institute InterfaceIn this part, the researcher tried to identify the nature and the level of linkages that existbetween higher education and industry. First question of this part focused on the existence ofthe linkage – on a five point scale – whether for a long time, recently, very recently, rarely, orvery rarely. The responses were summarized in the table below: Table 1: Existence of Linkages between Higher Education and Industry HIGHER PARTICIPANTS INDUSTRY TOTAL EDUCATION Per Per Per Existence of Linkage Number Number Number Cent Cent Cent 1 For a long time 11 21% 0 0% 11 10% 2 Recently 13 25% 4 7% 17 15% 3 Very Recently 7 13% 43 72% 50 44% 4 Rarely 16 30% 13 21% 29 26% 5 Very Rarely 6 11% 0 0% 6 5% TOTAL 53 100% 60 100% 113 100%Source: Own Survey, 2012While a fifth of the higher education respondents felt the existence of linkages for a longtime, only a tenth of the industry respondents agreed with that view. On the other hand, asmuch as 59 percent of industry respondents felt the linkages are of recent origin, while theeducation counterparts supported that moderately with 38 percent. About two-fifth ofinstitutional respondents, and a third of industry respondents felt that the linkages exist quiterarely. In fact, a few of the interviewees from higher education felt the linkages to be non-existent and they sounded so because of paucity of well-developed private industries in this 56
  8. 8. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)part of the country. In the combined analysis, 69 percent favored the existence of somelinkages at least recently, while the remaining 31 percent doubted their existence. Table 2: Category of Linkages between Higher Education and Industry HIGHER PARTICIPANTS INDUSTRY TOTAL EDUCATION Per Category of Linkages Number Number Per Cent Number Per Cent Cent 1 Academic & Research 20 38% 5 8% 25 22% 2 Employer 6 11% 16 27% 22 19% 3 Sponsor 0 0% 1 2% 1 1% 4 Business Relationship 5 9% 10 17% 15 13% 5 Academic / Employer 3 6% 5 8% 8 7% 6 Academic / Sponsor 2 4% 1 2% 3 3% 7 Academic / Business 6 11% 0 0% 6 5% 8 Employer / Sponsor 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 9 Employer / Business 3 6% 6 10% 9 8% 10 Sponsor / Business 0 0% 1 2% 1 1% 11 Acad / Emp / Sponsor 1 2% 2 3% 3 3% 12 Acad / Spon / Business 1 2% 2 3% 3 3% 13 Acad / Emp / Business 4 8% 5 8% 9 8% 14 Emp / Spon / Business 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 15 Acad / Emp / Spon/ Busi 1 2% 6 10% 7 6% 16 No Response 1 2% 0 0% 1 1% TOTAL 53 100% 60 100% 113 100%It may be observed from the above table that as much as 38 percent of institutional respondentsconsidered “Academic & Research support” as significant linkage with the industry. They alsoconsidered “employment support” as the next one with 11 percent, a 9 percent viewed “businessrelationships” with industry as significant, and another 11 percent hailed “academic research supportand business relationship”. From viewpoint of industry respondents, “employment support” and“business relationship” proved significant linkages, since 27 and 17 percent held that view. Again 10percent of industry-respondents viewed the combination of “employment and business relationship”as significant, while another 10 percent viewed significance in all four linkages. Table 3: Summarized presentation of Linkages HIGHER PARTICIPANTS INDUSTRY TOTAL EDUCATION Weights Weighted W.A. Weighted W.A. Weighted W.A. Linkages Evaluated applied Average per cent Average per cent Average per cent 1 Academic & Research 1 11.2 33% 11.9 24% 23.1 28% 2 Employment support 2 9.1 27% 15.3 31% 24.4 29% 3 Sponsoring 3 5.5 16% 7.6 15% 13.1 16% 4 Business Relations 4 8.5 25% 14.3 29% 22.8 27% TOTAL 34.3 100% 49.1 100% 83.4 100% 57
  9. 9. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)The above table 3 presented a more meaningful analysis with weights being applied tothe degree of linkages – very few linkages being assigned ‘1’ and many more linkagesbeing assigned ‘4’. The overall picture for all kinds of linkages proved that “academicand research support”, “employment support” and “business relationship” were themost significant of the linkages between higher education and industry.Part-III: Benefits perceived of linkagesThis part of the questionnaire was intended to identify and rank the benefits oflinkages between higher education and industry. Without any exception, all the 113respondents agreed that partnership between the two would be beneficial.Table 4: Greater Beneficiary from the linkages between Higher Education and Industry HIGHER GREATER INDUSTRY TOTAL EDUCATION BENEFICIARY FROM Per Per Per THE LINKAGES Number Number Number Cent Cent Cent1 Higher Education 16 30% 1 2% 17 15%2 Industry 5 9% 36 60% 41 36%3 Both 32 60% 23 38% 55 49% TOTAL 53 100% 60 100% 113 100%As to the question who was the greater beneficiary of the two, 60 percent of academicrespondents viewed both as beneficiaries. 60 percent of industry respondents votedindustry to be greater beneficiary. The combined picture revealed that majority ofrespondents viewed both to be beneficiaries.The researcher applied chi-square test to test H0: opinions of academic and industryrespondents are independent as to major beneficiary from linkages, against H1:opinions of academic and industry respondents are not independent as to majorbeneficiary from linkages. The calculated value of chi was 36.96 while the criticalvalue (at 5% level of significance) for 5 d.f. was 11.07. Hence, it may be concludedthat the ‘opinions of the respective respondents are not independent’.Of the five factors presented (in Table 5 in the next page) as benefits accruing tohigher education through linkages with industry, “ability to produce industry-fitgraduate-employees” was voted to be the most significant benefit. “Feasibility toresearch and solve real-life / business problems” and “ability to enhance manpowerquality and employability” were considered as the next best by the academicrespondents. Above was the cumulative result of benefit-factors being ranked from 1st 58
  10. 10. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)to 5th positions, which had been appropriately weighted and average obtained for thesame. Table 5: Benefits accruing to Higher Education through linkages with Industry BENEFIT 1st position 2nd position 3rd position 4th position 5th position Weig RANKING weight: 5 weight: 4 weight: 3 weight: 2 weight: 1 Weig hted FOR hted Avera Weig Weig Weig Weig Weig HIGHER Num Num Num Num Num Avera ge hted hted hted hted htedEDUCATIO ber ber ber ber ber ge Perce Total Total Total Total Total N nt Ability to produce ‘industry1 -fit’ 9 45 5 20 4 12 2 4 0 0 5.40 27% graduate - employe es Ability to enhance manpow2 er- 3 15 6 24 5 15 4 8 2 2 4.27 21% quality and employa bility Feasibilit y to research and solve3 4 20 7 28 5 15 4 8 0 0 4.73 24% real-life / business problem s Gain in ‘practical wisdom’4 from 2 10 1 4 2 6 6 12 9 9 2.73 14% practition ers’ sharing Contribut ion to Curricula Desingin5 2 10 1 4 4 12 4 8 9 9 2.87 14% g and Courses Develop mentSource: Own Survey, 2012 59
  11. 11. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012)It may be observed from Table 6 that the industry counterparts voted (i) Increase inproductivity and service quality, (ii) Technological innovations leading to improvedperformance, and (iii) Reduction in training costs as the most significant of thebenefits accruing to the industry due to linkages with higher institutions. Table 6: Benefits accruing to Industry through linkages with Higher Institutions 1st position 2nd position 3rd position 4th position 5th position Weight BENEFIT weight: 5 weight: 4 weight: 3 weight: 2 weight: 1 Weight ed RANKING ed Averag Weight Weight Weight Weight Weight FOR Numb Numb Numb Numb Numb Averag e ed ed ed ed ed INDUSTRY er er er er er e Percen Total Total Total Total Total t Increase in Productivi1 14 70 11 44 7 21 4 8 1 1 9.60 26% ty and Service Quality Reduction in2 6 30 4 16 14 42 12 24 1 1 7.53 20% Training Costs Reduction in Costs of3 Recruitme 1 5 9 36 11 33 7 14 9 9 6.47 17% nt and Selection Solutions to real-life4 / business / 4 20 10 40 0 0 5 10 18 18 5.87 16% communit y issues Technolog ical Innovatio ns leading5 12 60 3 12 5 15 9 18 8 8 7.53 20% to improved performa nceFINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONSThe findings from the survey conducted on Industry-Institute Interface and from theinterview conducted with a cross section of survey participants are summarized thus: Majority of the participants of this research felt that linkages exist between higher education and industry at least recently. With a marginal variation the participants agreed upon the existence of linkages in the areas of (i) Employment, (ii) Academic and Research support, and (iii) Business relationship between the two entities. Participants from higher education opined more linkages exist in the areas of (i) Academic and Research support, and (ii) Employment. On the other hand, participants from industry viewed higher linkages in (i) Employment, and (ii) Business Relationship between the two entities. 60
  12. 12. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012) Every single participant in the survey agreed that the partnership between industry and institute would be highly beneficial. As to who is the greater beneficiary, a majority opined that both industry and institute benefit from linkages. Among the factors presented as potential benefits of linkages, respondents from academics identified (i) Ability to produce industry-fit candidates; (ii) Feasibility to research and solve real-life business problems; and (iii) Ability to enhance manpower- quality and employability as the most significant. To industry respondents, (i) Increase in productivity and service quality; (ii) Technological Innovations leading to improved performance; and (iii) Reduction in Training costs, are the most significant potential benefits in linkages between higher education and industry. Higher bodies and policymakers are expected to show ‘directions’ in the form of guidelines and manuals. As opined by a cross-section of interviewees, most of the happenings are ‘directional’ – meaning thereby they may not happen so unless directed by higher bodies to do so.CONCLUSIONHaving studied the present and the future of linkages between higher education and industry,the researcher concludes that there are evidence for the existence of alliances between the twoentities. However, those alliances are not pursued in full measure, and as such the benefits ofstrategic partnerships are not fully realized. There is an inability to perceive the potentialbenefits and hidden opportunities of the ‘industry-institute interface’, and when they areproperly perceived the inadequacy of resources acts as a major constraint in forging thealliances. Moreover there is evidence as to ‘imbalance’ in alliances – which is mainly due tolop-sided growth of industrial sector in urban areas. Future seems to be bright as there areefforts at various levels in promoting industrial growth in semi-urban and rural areas, andalready higher institutions commenced their operations in almost every part of the country.Steps must be seriously taken, first by the policymakers and top management, followed byactions at the ground level by the work force, in forging alliances between the two entities –as such an effort is expected to bring about enormous benefits to both of them and alsocontribute to the economic development of the country as well.RECOMMENDATIONS• One of the recommendations to strengthen the alliance between industry and institution is to conduct symposia with technical sessions chaired and presented by eminent persons from industry. This can be done as a joint effort by a number of departments/schools – which will economize the costs and organizing efforts.• Schools/Departments of higher institutions must create a data bank of ‘industry professionals/experts” in their catchment area. Such practitioners must be frequently invited to share their experiences and practical wisdom – thus bridging the gap between theory and practice. Sharing of best practices will help the learners avoid bigger perils at lesser costs.• Student and Staff Researchers of higher institutions must be encouraged to take up real- life and business-related problems seeking feasible and economical solutions.• Universities may be encouraged to set up Industry Institute Partnership Cells (IIPCs) and various industrial, commercial and financial organizations may sponsor collectively in funding that task. This is a win-win situation for this will be beneficial to the Universities in not only finding suitable employment opportunities for their products but also to make 61
  13. 13. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management (IJARM), ISSN 0976 –6324 (Print), ISSN 0976 – 6332 (Online), Volume 3, Issue 2, July-December (2012) them understand what industry expects them to deliver; to the industry, IIPCs offer twin advantages of sharing their experiences and seeking solutions to their real-life business problems, and also getting appropriate training and staff development for their employees.• Industrial enterprises must come forward to sponsor, subject to their financial capacity, the events and activities of higher educational institutions.• Sustained efforts must be made to encourage research at all levels by contributing to empirical research. They must be willing to share information (of course, subject to confidentiality nature of data provided) for the purpose of research, and should be willing to take the academicians into confidence by sharing their real-time issues and experiences.• A small part of the earnings of business enterprises may be donated to the research funds set up by higher institutions. Policymakers may consider granting of tax exemptions on contributions made to such research funds.• Ministry of Education (MoE) may consider assigning appropriate significance (in the form of weights or marks) to “alliances” forged by higher institutions. Such weights may be considered, to a certain extent, in determining the grants to the higher institutions, and in affiliation and accreditation processes.REFERENCES1. Apoorva Bharatwaj and B.S.Sahay (2010), “Industry-Institute Integration: exploring symbiotic engagements for management education”, International Journal of Management Education, ISSN 1750-3868, Vol.4 No.1/2010, pp.46-602. Edward B.Acworth (2008), “University-industry engagement: the formation of the Knowledge Integration Community (KIC) model at the Cambridge-MIT Institute”, Research Policy: Vol.37, Issue 8, pp.1241-12543. Elias G. Caryannis, Jeffrey Alexander (1999), “Winning by co-opeting in strategic government- university-industry R & D partnerships: the power of complex, dynamic knowledge networks”, Journal of Technology Transfer, vol.24, no.2/3, 1999.4. Gargi Sharma & Vedika Sharma: 2012, “MBA losing its sheen: Interplay of various macro- environmental factors”, Ninth AIMS International Conference on Management, 2012.5. Howell, John R (Editor), (1972), Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education – Relations with Industry Annual Conference, University of Houston6. http://www.ju.edu.et/am/node/294 (accessed on 04-Apr-12)7. IDRC Archive: Technology Policy and Practice in Africa, “The impact of University Research on Industrial Innovations: Empirical Evidence from Kenya”, accessed from web on 29/Mar/128. Ji Soo Kim ( 2002), “Industry and University Linkage for Development through Technical Human Resource Development in Korea”, A study on Innovation toward University-Industry Networking: Standford University9. Magnus Gulbrandsen and Lars Nerdrum (2007), “University-Industry relations in Norway”, TIK Working Paper on Innovation Studies No.20070613, version of 23.7.200710. Mahanti, Rupa and Mahanti P.K. (2005), Software Engineering education and training, 18th conference, Ottawa-Canada, ISSN 1093-0175, pp.111-11711. Santoro, Michael D and Betts, Stephen C (2002), “Making Industry-University Partnerships work”, Research-Technology Management: Vol.45, No.3, pp.42-46 62