Friday 5 June 2015

Interaction Between Industry & Higher Education

In 2002 as part of the work of the Business Higher Education Roundtable in Australia, I had the opportunity to contribute to work that was considering the fostering of links between universities and industry. I worked with colleagues from a number of other universities and produced a key report for distribution to universities and key industry partners. An extract from the report follows:

There is a significant and urgent challenge in Australia to set the scene for a steady transformation in industry/business-university relationship and interaction. This interaction needs to occur across the broad spectrum of industries and businesses and should not be restricted to “big business” or major industry sectors.

With all industries and businesses increasingly dependent on human resources in a knowledge-based economy, business will need to increasingly rely on universities which remain world class and diverse. Universities and business will need to cultivate mutually beneficial and lasting relationships with one another. In this emerging framework, robust high-quality, long-term relationships, based on two-way investments of time and resources, are becoming essential to understand, influence and improve the interactions between both sectors.

To forge ahead with this transformation universities will need to leave the campus and engage with industry. At the same time, industry and government can facilitate the development of close links with universities by venturing onto campus for regular discussion and exchange of views on matters related to the preparedness of graduates for the workforce, and collaborative research. Individual academic staff members will often engage with professions in industry, adopting leadership roles in professional bodies, undertaking commercial research or consultancy, and often volunteering to participate with industry and the professions in areas of mutual interest. This strategic partnering needs to be encouraged at organisational level, as well as around personal links.

The details of the report follow:

Belcher, R., Cairney, T.H,, English, B., Fischer, J. & Harding, S. (2002). Greater Involvement and Interaction Between Industry and Higher Education. Melbourne: Business Higher Education Roundtable.

The report can be downloaded HERE.

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