Universities are engines of economic growth

Articol preluat din publica╚Ťia Harare Institute of Technology, edi╚Ťia din data 19.06.2017

We welcome you to the first edition of the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) column, entitled ÔÇťDesigning the FutureÔÇŁ.

This statement encapsulates the HITÔÇÖs mandate and thrust which is to lead in the development, incubation, transfer and commercialisation of technologies that facilitate ZimbabweÔÇÖs rapid industrialization.

This column has a three-fold mandate, which is to:

(i) Conscientise the nation and promote the role of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in development,

(ii) Provide expert-led opinions, analysis and facts on issues pertaining to SET,

(iii) Provide an interactive platform to our stakeholders.

We begin our first edition by highlighting the remarks made during a public lecture held at the University campus recently, entitled ÔÇťThe technical education at Transylvania University and its contribution to the socio-economic development of Brasov region in RomaniaÔÇŁ.

The rector of Transylvania University, Prof. Dr. Ioan Vasile Abrudan, emphasized the important role that technical universities play in the development of any country, and as such HIT should play this important role in Zimbabwe considering its specialization in science, engineering and technology.

ÔÇťUniversities are now increasingly tasked not only to cultivate an entrepreneurial workforce that can adapt to the demands of a complex and competitive economy, but to also directly drive economic growth through technology transfer and the production of intellectual capital that can be licensed, patented or spun-off into companiesÔÇŁ, he said.

ÔÇťTechnical universities should establish strong links and relationships with industries because they prepare and train future employees.

Universities need to know the industryÔÇÖs needs and industry also needs to know from universities ÔÇô the trends, new developments in science, engineering and technology. On the other hand, I do believe there are also opportunities for our technical universities to get student practical placements at these companies. These companies can also support the development of curricula and syllabi in different engineering programmes; as the universities also need to consider the needs of these companiesÔÇŁ, he said.

The visit was facilitated by the Minister Plenipotentiary for Romania to Zimbabwe, Dr. Silviu Gabriel Barbu, who highlighted that it was part of the efforts in reviving relations between Zimbabwe and Romania through academic cooperation.

He said the visit by Transylvania University was a historical step; the first one in twenty years.

ÔÇťI am very happy that we started with academic cooperation between the Harare Institute of Technology and the Transylvania University and confident that we will be able to exchange technological knowledge between our Romanian and Zimbabwean professors as well as students. HIT is very important in the future development of Zimbabwe, because as a technical university it teaches technical knowledge skills to young people and this steers national economic and industrial developmentÔÇŁ, he said.

ÔÇťAfter learning that the Government of Zimbabwe is in need of increasing the level of technical skills in the public and private sector, we decided to come in and assist since we have a good friendship with the people of Zimbabwe. We intend to increase our level of economic, industrial and academic cooperation because a good academic cooperation creates the fastest and friendliest environment as the smartest brains work together for a better worldÔÇŁ, said Dr. Barbu.

For feedback, and for further details on our programmes, visit our website or email to communications@hit.ac.zw

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