Written by on August 18, 2019

ALLOW me to comment on Davis Mulenga’s article ‘Zambia needs industry-ready graduates’ and your opinion ‘Zambia should strive for industry-ready graduates’ on Thursday, August 15, 2019 was provocative.

It is true universities get a lot of flak over inflexible curricula of rote teaching and lack of experiential learning outside the classroom. This results into a mismatch of between graduates and industry expectations.

The mismatch is huge and valid.  Therefore, the approach by University of Africa (UoA) of ensuring under-graduates got intensified industry exposure should signal the future of higher education learning that was strongly linked to realities of the marketplace.

To amplify the point, technology and skill sets are changing quickly and you cannot readjust the university curriculum every time that happens.

That is where UoA has got it right because a strong collaboration with industry would keep students abreast with what was out there.

 Indeed, our universities and colleges needed to focus on getting students prepared and ready upon graduating.

In the same vein employers also needed to invest in their own future employees. Expecting universities alone to give them fully-baked graduates was unrealistic.

Further, the High Education Authority (HEA) needed to implement multi-pronged approaches, including research-focused universities to drive innovation and niche-focused curricula that was responsive to industry needs.

This would form a strong base for universities and colleges to produce industry-ready graduates with qualifications and skills relevant to local industries and communities.


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