Academia and industries must collaborate

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By Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

There is a need for academia to work in collaboration with the industries. The universities and especially the business schools should have a close link with organizations that are related to the courses and degree programs the business schools are offering. Industry experts should be invited by the universities to share their experiences and insights. This will provide the students with practical and relevant information about Pakistan’s industrial outlook that is not available in textbooks. The teachers should also plan a meeting with industry professionals and take their students with them. For instance, the students studying Supply Chain and Logistics should visit companies where supply chain and logistics are a part of their daily operations. The students of Entrepreneurship can meet entrepreneurs who began from scratch and are running their businesses successfully. Such interactions will provide students with the practicalities of life and what actions one must pursue to become a success. While the business schools are endeavoring to create linkages with industries, the efforts must be streamlined and planned accordingly. Each university must invite at least ten businessmen, entrepreneurs, or heads of departments every month. The discussions with the guests will broaden the students’ mental horizons. They will also relate the classroom lectures with the real-world insights the guests will share. Moreover, such interactions will also enhance the thought process of the faculty members who should remain updated with what is happening in the industrial sectors of Pakistan and abroad. Such an academia-industry collaboration should begin from the schools and colleges. Every school and college should invite two to three industry experts every month who can share the basic idea of what companies do. This will enlighten the students about the workflow so it may facilitate their learning once they enter a professional college or university after passing their intermediate or A-levels.