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13th Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) Conference and Annual Meeting

  • 05th July, 2022 11:48am
  • 2 minutes read
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda, Rector IUIU is currently attending the 2-day event at Kiriri Garden Hotel, in the beautiful capital of Burundi, Bujumbura.
Message from the Rector about the theme of the Conference: "Strengthening Academia-industry Partnership for Commercialization of Research and Innovation in the EAC: Prospects for Regional Integration"
Higher Education leaders, including Permanent Secretaries, National and Regional Higher Education Accreditation Agency leaders, Rectors, Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors and Industry leaders have congregated in Bujumbura to discuss the critical linkage between University research/innovation and industrial needs that can transform society.
All Universities must link creation of new knowledge to societal advancement otherwise University programs will suffer the fate of dinosaurs; they will become irrelevant and obsolete, because employers will no longer look to them for human resources.
In fact, in the plenary session's opening remarks, the IUCEA Executive Secretary, noted that Google and other global companies have declared that University degrees will no longer be the requirements for employment.
IUIU must therefore continue to re-imagine and re-think the way we do our core business of teaching, research, innovation and aim to equip our students, both undergraduates and postgraduates with the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes that empowers them to become players in the new world, the world of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Unless we adapt to the technological advances and the  "unintended consequences" they bring, we, the University leaders will slowly but surely lead our Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) into oblivion!
The 21st century is an era of nano technology; the Internet and the Internet of Things (IOT) innovations of smart or intelligent machines; the pervasive social media of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter that is shaping the cultural mores and ethos of our youth, thus directly challenging our cultural/religious traditions and mores; the globalization trends that have shrank our planet in amazing ways; and so on and so on.
I appeal to our Managers, to our academic and support staff, to our dear students to read, read, and read so that we are quickly adapting to this new world in a systematic manner that preserves our tribal/national/cultural/religious identities.
IUIU is Islamic, it's international, it's intergovernmental, it's for Anglophone Africa.
As such, we must confidently move in a nimble way and we have to  deliberate on the world around us and how we can meet it halfway. We must move as one team; we must think critically, we must be willing to push our students and staff to become problem solvers, linking our programs to our society, at the local, regional and global levels.