Challenges and Opportunities of University and Industry Nexus in Ethiopia: A Systematic Review

  • Abaineh Degaga Assistant Professor, Department of Management, College of Business and Economics, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia, East Africa
  • M Senapathy Associate Professor, Department of Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, College of Agriculture, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia, East Africa
Keywords: University and industry nexus, Challenges and opportunities of UIL, University and industry linkage, Government policy interventions


University and Industry Linkage [UIL] has been practised, with differing magnitude, as universities have long been recognised as rich sources of knowledge generation, innovation, and technological advancements. Strengthening the nexus between these two sectors and amassing the benefits arising has become a hot policy issue. Nevertheless, the progress of functional links between the two actors has been curtailed by many impediments. In the Ethiopian context, there is a paucity of researches that address the issue of UIL in general and those delineating the major challenges and opportunities about that in particular. Accordingly, this systematic review was conducted to pinpoint the main challenges that have been deterring the progress of the desired level of UIL and identifying the opportunities that can be seized to enhance the progress of the link. The study employed a systematic review method to collate all relevant evidence that meets prespecified eligibility criteria to achieve a given research objective or answer a specific research question. This systematic review was based on document analysis made on highly relevant and carefully selected documents, including journal articles, policies, strategies, plans, proclamations and books. The study revealed that despite the attempts of the government to strengthen and sustain a fruitful interconnection between the two sectors, UIL is at its infant stage, and numerous backlogs are waiting to be accomplished. The major challenges hindering the growth of UIL in Ethiopia include the presence of limited budget to research universities; mismatch between graduates’ knowledge and skills and industries’ demand; lack of sufficient skills and knowledge on the part of the staff of both sectors; absence of sound policy implementation strategies and plans; lack of ownership on the part of officials to implement policies, strategies and plans and cultural divide between the two parties.
On the other hand, the main opportunities identified include a supportive policy environment, the proliferation of industries, issuance of intellectual property right protection laws, growing economy, the establishment of science and technology universities, construction of industrial parks, and relative improvements in infrastructure. Concerted government, universities, industries and other pertinent stakeholders need to be implemented to overcome the challenges mentioned above and reinvigorate UIL. Moreover, emerging opportunities delineated above need to be capitalised on, and creating an enabling environment for UIL to flourish ought to be  reinforced with greater momentum

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