The National Universities Commission (NUC) says the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) in Nigeria has failed, as students sent for the purpose of acquiring work experience under the scheme are often turned to “tea boys by the chief executives.”
The Director of Research, Innovation and Information Technology, NUC, Suleiman Ramon-Yusuf, said this on Thursday in Abuja at a stakeholders’ roundtable on university-industry linkages.
According to him, NUC decided to organise the forum because of a notorious gap between the university system and industry, which he said is not healthy for the economy.
He urged relevant stakeholders to correct the anomaly that has eaten deep into the facet of the Nigerian economy, noting that apart from the research finding from the university system, there seemed to be a huge gap which needs to be filled in order to re-invigorate the working relationship.
“People think universities are working in silos, but beyond research findings, very little is seen outside the system. That is why we called for this roundtable to examine ways, which there could be a collaboration. To move the nation forward, there must be involvement of the academia and the industries,” Mr Ramon-Yususf said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Laoye Jaiyeola, said there cannot be innovation unless stakeholders come together to discuss the way forward.
“The role of education is to enhance productivity, unleash the creativity of the human mind and promote entrepreneurship and when that role is missing, the economy of any nation may be doomed,” he said.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content and Development Board ((NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, said there is the need for alignment of the curriculum in the university system.
While advising universities to focus on the needs of the industries, he said the Research and Development Council was collaborating with universities to see how incentives could be attracted to institutions.
The Executive Secretary of NUC, Abubakar Rasheed, in his remarks said the commission was working on 11 strategies in a blueprint that would bring collaborations between the university system and industries in the country.
Mr Rasheed said 50 per cent of the curriculum must contain local, national and international dimension in manpower deployment, stating that several meetings had been held in this respect.
The NUC is a Nigerian government commission promoting quality university education in Nigeria.