Auxilia Katongomara in Daejeon, South Korea
THE country’s universities should transform to industrial hubs rather than specialise in being mere graduate producing and certificate awarding institutions, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has said.
Prof Moyo who is leading a delegation of Vice Chancellors and legal experts on a three-week business tour to universities in Asia and South America, said institutions of higher learning must be at the forefront of industrialisation.
Briefing the delegation soon after arrival here in Daejeon, Prof Moyo said the tour was for the Vice Chancellors to learn from other institutions that were championing industrialisation in their countries. “We need radical transformation from our institutions of higher learning. They must move from being certificate giving universities to industry creating hubs because universities must be drivers of the economy. Its time to rethink our universities and change their role,” said Prof Moyo.
He said universities play a key role in economic development particularly in promoting industry.
The Minister cited the University of Zimbabwe’s Medical school which had been recognised as one of the best medical schools in the world, but has not created a medical industry.
“We want the university to have a medical industry that benefits the country and many other sectors such as energy and engineering. So the purpose of this trip is for you to see how our universities can be used as incubating centres,” he said.
Prof Moyo challenged Vice Chancellors to take notes from the tour to assist in formulating the Ministry’s Act.
He said cabinet last week approved principles of the new Act which is proposing an all-encompassing Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Bill for all institutions of higher learning.
“The principles of the New Act approved by cabinet last week will repeal all Acts of Universities and Manpower Development Act. It will also affect private universities. We will come up with a new law by end of July and we have also come up with a strategy document for the next 10 years,” said Prof Moyo.
The delegation was yesterday welcomed by Chungnam University Vice President of International Affairs Lee Jun Heon at Incheon International Airport in Seole.
Today, Minister Moyo and the team will meet Chungnam University President and tour the institution’s Research Centre and Software Engineering as well as other industries incubated by the university.
The delegation leaves tomorrow for Singapore for a tour of the National University of Singapore.