I have not schooled in the Ivy League, yet I am fascinated by their successes. I am moved to draw lesson from these institutions that have stood decades and are known for building people who are self reliant and would dare the unimaginable.
For us, our educational system is fraught will many problems from finance, pedagogy, personnel and structural design. Yet several summit and state of emergency have been declared with no tangible result. The successes of the private sector Universities have again proved the private sector as a better manager of resources and enterprise. They have building institutions that will increase our growth potentials as a nation. Despite these, I am worried at the entrepreneurial personalities of their products.
Can we rely on them to help build a new crop of self-dependent people, who will not look up for some jobs? Would their bourgeoisie background not deny them the courage exemplified by Bill Gates III? Would they associate with the social reality of our environments or import ideas and concepts alien to the reality on ground?
The urgent task before the administrator of these private university is to steer the way as Frederick Terman had done in Stanford. Our premier Federal universities could not lead us to this status, though they provided the leadership which have led the nation this far. With knowledge economy as the way to go, we need a new crop of personalities raised to lead our nation through new sustainable enterprise.
The Federal Government through Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission has rightly gone further in instituting the establishment of Entrepreneurship Study Centers (ESCs). Yet, that alone will not produce the result desired, if the lecturers are not entrepreneurial by nature or learn to be. For a start, our patent- R&D relationship is dismal, a reflection of the outputs of the lecturers who are to show the undergraduate the way to building entreprise.
The nation needs to embrace collaboration amongst all relevant MDAs to work at getting our universities to be the hotbeds of innovation. If DAPRA, NASA, US Food and Safety Agency etc will work with US Higher Educational Institutions in improving their economic competitiveness. It is appropriate we take advantage of the limited competing resources in all our MDAs and HEIs to work at resolving our problems through enterprise building.
This post was contributed by Bola who runs the Innovation blog.