NOUN don harps on need for employable graduates

A university lecturer has reiterated the need for African universities to produce graduates with needed skills for global competitiveness, argumentative analysis and employment. Th e Dean, Faculty of Post-graduate School, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Dr. Sama’ila Mande, made the observation at the 5th annual conference of the Association of West African Universities (AWAU) held in Niamey, Niger.

A statement by NOUN’s Director, Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, quoted Mande as saying that “if higher institutions could run an expanded curriculum that accommodates dynamic ideas of philosophical and technological construct, graduates could be relevant and employable for decades”.

In a paper titled: “Graduate Employability and Preparedness for Entrepreneurship: Role of Higher Education”, he observed that inadequate funding, poor curriculum, near-absence of synergy between universities and employers, and low-level commitment of undergraduates in developing themselves were the bane of producing employable graduates.

He, therefore, charged higher institutions to cultivate and arouse students’ interest and drive in entrepreneurship, while calling on government to provide enabling and collaborative environment between corporate organisations and higher institutions to capture industrial needs. Th e 5th annual conference of Association of West African Universities (AWAU) opened on Monday in Niamey, Niger Republic, with a call on all members to work together by sharing ideas and values towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In his welcome address, chairman of the association, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, reminded members of world leaders gathering in New York for the launch of the SDGs, otherwise known as the agenda to transforming the world by the year 2030 which seeks to tackle about 181 issues, among which is education placed at number four.

“Th ough education features among the goals, the truth is none of the goals can be achieved without education. Th is means that education, which the late African statesman Nelson Mandela described as the most powerful weapon which one can use to change the world, is the vehicle that will convey all the SDGs to fruition”, he had said

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