Dear Content Contributor,
With the recent happenings in the world economy, there is the need for Higher Educational institutions to start thinking of how to sustain their finances and meet up with their financial obligations. Few weeks ago, a regional conference was organised in Lome, Togo, where discussions were held on the Innovative Approaches to Funding Higher Education and Research in Africa. Many University administrators present made a submission that governments alone cannot adequately fund education; hence, each University should devise and develop a vision for innovation with realistic and practicable strategy for funding innovations in a real world situation.
At the Lome Conference, it was further discussed that the management of Universities need to encourage faculty and researchers to be focused and develop innovations that will combine “academic and business” with the view to embedding University curricula with the challenges of the 21st century with the requisite skills and impactful researches that would improve our society. For instance, I was reliably informed that researchers and students of a reputable University in Nigeria recently replaced the circuit board of a grounded aircraft, thanks to innovative teaching and research methodology.
Perhaps, our Colleges and Departments may need to employ the services of Business Managers that will be saddled with the sole responsibilities of reaching out to industries and society at large, to bring the expectations of the industries to the world of the academia and in return, provide a sound basis for carrying out innovative research, effective classroom teaching and reliable source of income. Each college and Department should be ever ready to identify their research strengths from the various research groups within. Let me then ask this question: How far have we gone, as individuals or Departments “in fulfilling the mandate of our University in teaching, research and extension services?".
I feel it is high time we conveyed a forum through which these important issues can be adequately addressed. I have also attached a presentation of the Emeritus Professor Pai Obanya of the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, on the "Innovative Models of funding Higher Education in Africa: General Considerations", for your reading pleasure!
Previous editions of our Weekly Tips can be accessed HERE
Dr. O. Folorunso
Director, Centre for Innovation and Strategy for Learning and Teaching