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UNIVERSITY LEADERS’ FORUM ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACADEMICS . UNIVERSITY LEADERS’ FORUM ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACADEMICS . GENERAL THEME- DEVELOPING AND RETAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACADEMICS. KEYNOTE ADDRESS.

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university leaders forum on the next generation of academics2

UNIVERSITY LEADERS’ FORUM ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACADEMICS

GENERAL THEME- DEVELOPING AND RETAINING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACADEMICS

keynote address
KEYNOTE ADDRESS
  • DEVELOPING THE 21ST CENTURY SCHOLAR: WHAT IT MEANS FOR AFRICABY IVAN ADDAE-MENSAH (FORMER VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON)SUNDAY 23RD NOVEMBER 2008
slide4
“A University thoroughly conscious of, and adapted to its environment, but simultaneously maintaining an international standard”.
slide5
North Africa 33
  • West Africa 64
  • Central Africa 20
  • East Africa 53
  • Southern Africa 42
slide6
Quality and academic standards
  • Funding and related issues
  • Institutional governance
  • Access and quality
  • Human resource
  • Cooperation in graduate training and research
  • ICT and globalisation
  • Gender issues including access, quality and relevance
slide7
The poorest developing countries in the world lack many things; good sanitation systems, effective transportation systems and capital investment for agriculture and industry. However, the best use of investment funds may not be for bridges, sewer systems and roads but for human capital and education.(1998; O’Sullivan and Sheffrin- Economics, Principles and Tools)[8].
slide8
Building technological capacity in developing countries is central to forging long-term solutions because technologies for development have not, cannot and will not be supplied through the global marketplace alone.
slide9
Though the past 20 years have seen an important rise in research excellence in some developing countries, others still lack adequate research and development capacity.
slide10
Without it, they cannot adapt freely available global technologies to their needs-let alone set their own research agendas for new innovations. Inadequate national policies are partly responsible, BUT THE LOSS OF HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRANTS, the lack of supporting global institutions and unfair implementation of global trade rules create additional barriers. (United Nations Human development Report, 2001). [10].
slide11
“frank analysis concludes that a country whose universities are allowed to decline is opting out of the development process at the start of the 21st century.
slide12
It is now a truism that access to all (persons) to basic education is essential for a modern nation’s economic well being. But in the new “knowledge economy, driven by developments in information and communication technology such as the internet, there is a growing recognition of the vital role that higher education plays in socio-economic development.
slide13
To fulfil their role, universities need to be committed to flexibility, quality and enterprise. They must also have the support of governments and community stakeholders.
slide14
Higher education cannot be viewed as a luxury by developing countries- it is an economic necessity.
slide32
“The yardstick for assessing a journal should not be determined by foreign parameters. That a journal is published abroad does not make it superior to locally produced ones.
slide33
What assessors should be concerned with is the calibre of persons behind the journal and the academic rigour which the papers have gone through before publication.
slide34
Universities without research activities run the risk of becoming glorified secondary schools. They are unable to generate new knowledge for themselves, academia and the country. They are unable to produce the stream of academic staff candidates necessary to sustain the university enterprise.
slide35
And they are unable to teach students essential analytical and problem-solving skills. In the long run, governments neglect university research capacity at the cost of future development possibilities.
slide36
Capacity building in university research is therefore a fundamental element for the revitalisation of African universities
government subvention
GOVERNMENT SUBVENTION

YEARAMOUNT (GH¢)

2001 16,000.00

2002 16,000.00

2003 16,000.00

2004 15,700.00

2005 14,700.00

2006 14,800.00

2007 14,800.00

2008 Not yet released

inventing a better future a strategy for building world wide capacities in science and technology
Inventing a Better Future: A Strategy for Building World-Wide Capacities in Science and Technology.
  • “All nations, whether industrialised or developing, face a broad array of challenges that will require the application of up-to-date scientific knowledge and technology.
slide40
No nation can now afford to be without access to a credible, INDEPENDENT science and technology (S&T) research capacity that would help it to develop informed policies and take effective action in these and other areas”.
slide41
Realising the Promise and Potential of African Agriculture: Science and Technology Strategies for Improving Agricultural productivity and Food Security in Africa.
slide42
Without embedding science, technology and innovation in development, we fear that ambitions for Africa will fail.
slide43
Advances in Science and Technology allow society to mobilize new sources of energy and materials, fight disease, improve and diversify agriculture, mobilize and disseminate information, transport people and goods with greater speed and safety, limit family size as desired, and much more.
slide44
But these technologies are not free. They are the fruits of enormous social investments in education, scientific discovery, and targeted technological projects.
slide45
Every successful high income country makes special public investments to promote scientific and technological capacities. Unfortunately, poor countries have largely been spectators or at best, users of technological advance produced in the high-income world that are relevant.
slide46
Poor countries have tended to lack large scientific and technological communities. Their scientists and engineers, chronically under-funded, move abroad for satisfying employment in scientific research and development. Private companies, moreover, focus their innovation activities on rich-country problems and projects, since that is where adequate financial returns exist.
slide47
Any strategy to meet the (MD) goals requires a special global effort to build scientific and technological capacities in the poorest countries, both to help drive economic development and to help forge solutions to developing countries’ own scientific challenges. A FOCUS SHOULD BE ON STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.
slide48
A special global effort is also required to direct research and development towards specific challenges facing the poor in diseases, climate, agriculture, energy and environmental degradation………..To address these most pressing scientific issues, direct public financing of research needs to increase”.
slide49
Progress in science is the bedrock of technological advance and innovation.. All over the world, universities are the nurseries where science is nurtured and practiced.
slide50
Many future technological advances will have to be directed towards finding innovative solutions for improving the quality of life, providing access to education and information, ensuring sustainable use of resources, stabilizing human population, preserving the environment, alleviating poverty and creating employment.
slide51
To cope with the challenges, sound scientific structures and a critical mass of trained manpower is essential. Universities should be the natural instruments through which socio-economic transformation, driven by science and technology, can be launched.
slide52
“Technology and technical expertise are critical factors influencing the success of small enterprises. Many entrepreneurs are either unfamiliar with new technologies or cannot afford to access appropriate levels of technology.
slide53
This problem is often magnified by poor linkages between science and technology institutions and industry, lack of coordination amongst research institutions, inadequate funds for designing and developing marketable prototypes, and WEAKNESSES IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AT POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION LEVELS.
slide55
The Education Ministry as currently constituted is already very big, with serious budgetary constraints. Adding Science to it has constrained resources going into that sector, and made science and technology an even more deprived orphan of other ministries.
slide56
Science and technology permeates all ministries, from Trade and Industry through Roads, Railways and Harbours, Aviation and Space Technology, Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Health, etc. Dismembering Science and Technology into other ministries does not give the impression of a coherent and focused policy direction that will act as the necessary tool for any country’s rapid economic development.
slide57
I firmly believe that for African Universities to develop the requisite manpower, not only in science and technology, but other aspects of development, their various governments need to critically look at the governance structure for science and technology, and give science and technology the necessary strength and direction that will enable it play the role that is envisaged for it by their own people and the international community.
slide58
Science and Technology should be given a higher profile and more effective governance structure than is presently the case. Ideally, there should be a separate Ministry for Science and Technology with full Cabinet status.
slide59
However, whether Science and Technology is given a separate Ministry with Cabinet status or continues to be appended to another Ministry, it is suggested that every African President should have a Special Scientific Advisor on Science and Technology, independent of the Ministry responsible for science, and directly responsible to the President.
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