NESG, NUC partner to bridge competency gap in Nigeria’s workforce
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), and National Universities Commission (NUC), are collaboratively exploring ways to bridge the competency gap that exist in the country. Interactive session between both organisations on the theme, ‘Revitalisation of Higher Education in Nigeria’, was held to discuss and reach a consensus on how to upgrade the current NUC blueprint for the future of the university system.
Speaking at the academic-industry retreat, Head, NESG, Human capital development policy commission, Tope Toogun, said: “The collaboration between academia and industry is a coordination of several months of engagement between the NESG and the NUC; together we’ve adopted the Triple helix model of academia-industry-government relationship, as a core operating framework for setting the reform agenda for revitalising the Nigeria industry system to deliver national impact.”
To bridge the gap, Toogun argued that a mind-set shift is required, and stressed the need for leaders in the tertiary education system to become involved in the annual economic summit where key economic issues and agenda for the nation’s development is set so that they can take their findings and insight back to the academia for deliberation.
Also speaking on the partnership, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said: “The NUC and the NESG signed an MoU last year, the NUC signed on behalf of the academia, while the NESG signed on behalf of industry, and the Minister of Labour, witness on behalf of the government, thereby creating the tripod necessary for the success of the interaction or what is called ‘Triple helix.”
We did it specifically to close the gaps between the classroom, and the workplace and inviting government to facilitate it, to make transition more seamless.”
Speaking on the future of education and the role of university, industry and government in Nigeria, Prof. Rasheed said the changing dynamics of the global economy over the past three decades has shaped and dictated the pace of developments in universities, noting that the commercialization of knowledge in universities will tend to emphasize the utilitarian value before the epistemological value of universities.
He gave an example using the American model, where innovative thoughts from the universities have been of immense value to the industries, which will then turn them into products that create value for society, thereby enriching the universities, researchers and industries in a virtuous circle of creativity and application.
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