• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Experts advocate scale-up in research funding to make varsities competitive

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As the world continues to march forward globally, experts have identified research into science, technology, engineering and mathematics as drivers of growth to any economy. Research is the way by which new discoveries are made and innovative approaches to the solution of mankind’s problems

It has been observed world over and rightly so, that the importance of research in any academic institution is vital to the growth of both the institution in terms of knowledge based – development for the lecturers and the general quality of graduates from such an institution.

Educational sector watchers and university academics who bared their mind to BusinessDay observed that financial constraints a pose serious challenge or setback to achieving results in research, owning to the fact that successive governments constantly find it difficult to release grants to universities which ordinarily would aid professors in the advancement of research efforts.

They are of the view that when well funded research findings are employed by citadels of higher learning there are tremendous results.

Joshua U. Aisiku, an emeritus professor, is of the view that to meet the demands of building entrepreneurial graduates, university lecturers must retool and re-equip themselves. This he noted can be achieved if the university lecturers reach out to the governments, communities, industries and the whole world.

According to him, “A university lecturer should avail himself of opportunities to do research and advance. Without research, he/she cannot bring new ideas into his lecture notes.”

Aisiku further revealed that a university lecturer should reach out to the industry through his/her cutting edge research and innovation insisting that collaboration and networking are the watch words, while also pointing out that lethargy and fatalism have no room in the mind of a modern day lecturer.

Research, in the words of Sam Oyetakin, a university research fellow, is the systematic search and investigation for increasing the sum of knowledge and the search and application of this knowledge for development of new and improved industrial processes of capital development which, have in recent times, emerged to occupy the main centre stage in the activities of the western universities.

Oyetakin particularly pointed out that the main criteria for ranking the “world class universities” is not so much about the volume of teaching, student population or community services a university could muster; but research output measured by the breakthrough findings published in first class and medal winning journals and books, which could increase the volume and rate of knowledge accumulation.

 

KELECHI EWUZIE