Universities to be in strategic tie-ups with private sector and SOEs



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Sri Lankan-German SME Development Forum, conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, in session recently.


by Sanath Nanayakkare


University-Business Linkages (UBL) cells in all universities are looking to work in close collaboration with private sector organizations, State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and business chambers under a recently envisaged initiative.


Based on extensive work by the University Grants Commission (UGC), together with consultants of the University of Leipzig, facilitated by the GIZ SME Development Programme, a reform agenda has been drawn up together with a set of guidelines for national universities of Sri Lanka, founded on the University-Business Linkages (UBL) program process. The reforms have now been officially launched in all universities in Sri Lanka following a UGC circular.


Towards this end, the UGC has introduced a fresh set of reforms to be incorporated into University Business Linkages as a structural component to university study programmes.


Meanwhile, a recently launched National Policy Framework for SME Development has placed special emphasis on UBL as a key driver in technology and knowledge transfer to SMEs.


The circular provides fresh directives to all universities/higher educational institutions on appropriate measures to be taken to foster regional economic development through cooperation with the private sector and to promote knowledge and technology transfer to existing players of the economy. Initiatives will also be taken to facilitate the cooperation of the university with all actors in society. Accordingly, all universities/higher educational institutions are thereby directed to reorganize and strengthen the University Business Linkages and submit the progress reports to the University Grants Commission for information and approval.


Some of the focal areas identified by the UGC under UBL are; developing practice and business oriented student-projects, organizing trainings and coaching activities for businesses, implementing (technical) consulting services for businesses, promoting research cooperation between businesses and the university and promoting strategic alliances with the private sector in order to develop the research infrastructures and capacities at universities.


In this process, the UBL Cell will take the lead in conducting seminars, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, etc. aimed at creating awareness for the development of UBL.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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