Politics and policy
USIU appoints board to align its business studies with industry needs
Posted Sunday, July 8 2012 at 16:32
The move comes at a time when Kenyan employers’ have been complaining that graduates from local universities are under-qualified and have to be re-trained upon being hired.
Re-training of new workers is an expense businesses would be more than willing to do away with.
The United States International University has set up an advisory board of corporate leaders for its Chandaria School of Business as it seeks to align the unit’s courses to industry needs.
Industrialist Manu Chandaria will be chairing the 12-member board made up of individuals pooled from IT firms, banks and hospitals among others.
Students in the school are expected to benefit from internships and job placements at the firms where the board members are drawn from.
“This board was constituted in order to help us bridge the existing gap between academia and industry needs,” said Damary Sikalieh, the associate dean at the Chandaria School of Business.
“There was need for us to partner with business leaders to gain from the expertise they have gained in their respective positions.”
The CEOs in the advisory board are Bob Collymore (Safaricom), Jennifer Barassa (Top Image), Zafrullah Khan (Chase Bank), Eva Muraya (BSA Ltd & Colour Creations), John Muriithi (Mater Hospital) and Anthony Wahome from Linksoft Group International.
Reuben Marambii (NBK), Edward Odundo (Retirements Benefits Authority), Mike Odera (Tata Chemicals Magadi), Rajendra Tewary (Kaluworks Ltd) and Hassan Bashir, the principal officer at Takaful Insurance of Africa, are also in the board.
The move comes at a time when Kenyan employers’ have been complaining that graduates from local universities are under-qualified and have to be re-trained upon being hired. Re-training of new workers is an expense businesses would be more than willing to do away with.
“A new graduate employee will, on average, have to undergo one year of re-training before they can be productive to the company,” said Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
Universities have in the past been accused of expanding at a pace not matched by the human and physical resources available.
“The net effect of this proliferation is that there has been a duplication of courses whose quality and relevance is wanting,” revealed Professor Buyu.
Professional business courses such as MBA have become popular as the working class seek higher qualification, which improves both job placement and promotion chances.
Areas that have been identified as waning in value include research, a factor used in international ranking of universities.