Universities must bridge innovation skill gap, says former VC Michael Faborode

Former vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Prof Michael Faborode

Former vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Prof Michael Faborode has posited that for developing nations to become competitive in the global economy, they must harness and utilize science and technological innovations through their higher education and research institutions.

Faborode, who is the secretary of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) in his convocation lecture at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA) Akure specifically tasked African universities to put in place policies, structures, and processes for effective technology transfer.

In his lecture titled, “Scholarship, globalization and underdevelopment: Wither universities of Technology”, Faborode called on tertiary institutions to explore and exploit advances in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), business intelligence, leadership and planning while embracing integrated ICT solution for all university functions and mainstreaming it into governance structures.

According to him, universities must re- strategize for the future using strategic thinking while advocating commitment to human capital development to mitigate serious deficits in the number of scientists, engineers, and high level expertise and leaders in Africa.

Faborode restated call for proper funding of universities of technologies to enable these institutions fulfill their mandate of turning the sector into a technologically driven hub for national development.

“Universities generally and universities of technology in particular, which have the research and innovation function as their hallmark and most distinguishing feature , require specialized and independent structures that should not impair their basic academic, research and development functions.

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