The Business Year

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New programs position tertiary education as the sector-driven supplier of Tanzania's future labor force, training students in ICT, energy, agriculture, and other priority segments.

Idris S. Kikula

Vice Chancellor, University of Dodoma

We started off with four schools, and gradually we built colleges around those four schools. Now, we have several colleges including a college dedicated to ICT, with focus on cyber crime and software development. One interesting example is that of student voting; students from the University of Dodoma developed an online system to facilitate ballot collection during in-house elections. Similarly, we are trying to draw linkages with the college of Natural Mathematical Sciences and the college of ICT. We are working with private sector companies such as Statoil to boost vocational capacity development in earth sciences, in line with the foreseeable future of Tanzania’s employment profile, following the LNG discoveries in country. Our ambition for the next few years is to come up with programs that go hand in hand with the private sector in terms of the industries—programs that will support the government in terms of its industrialization goals. We have already started training some of the staff in the oil and gas industry; however, we feel that is not enough and are emphasizing vocational studies. Finally, we are looking to support the agriculture sector, again in line with the government’s ambitions to grow exports and value addition.

Prof. Elifas Tozo Bisanda

Vice Chancellor, Open University of Tanzania (OUT)

In the faculty of science and technology, we have three or four programs that are relevant to the drive for industrialization. One of these is our ICT faculty, with strong courses on offer for technicians and ICT experts. We also offer a bachelor’s and master’s program in environmental studies. There is one other recent course we introduced, which is a bachelor’s of science in energy studies, following the need to train personnel in various energy-related spheres, not just petroleum but also renewables. We are now in the third phase of implementing practical entrepreneurism, and we are going to train our people on how to create entrepreneurial projects and then test them to see if they work, closely following the Rwandan model that has been successful. Over the next 10-15 years, we want to see OUT become a role model for higher education in the country in terms of quality and efficiency. There was a global stigma about the inferiority of distance education, but this is gradually disappearing. It provides a greater level of flexibility for the students, and ensures synchronized learning. At the moment, we are facing challenges with fairly high-cost internet in Tanzania. However, the moment we make a breakthrough with lower-cost internet, and then OUT will see its operations really taking off.

Prof. Rwekaza S. Mukandala

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rwekaza S. Mukandala

WThrough its core mission of teaching, research, and public service, UDSM has immensely contributed to boosting education in sciences and industry-related specialties. Indeed, it is difficult, and perhaps unfair, to talk of development in science and technology, industrialization, and innovation in Tanzania without acknowledging the indispensable role that UDSM has played. Through the UDSM Vision 2061, the university realized the importance of elevating its research as a key aspect of strengthening its teaching and public service effectiveness. In 2012, as part of restructuring, a new office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research was established alongside the Directorates of Research and of Public Service. We have encouraged the introduction of centers of excellence and research centers with interdisciplinary research teams to focus on specific areas. We have also innovated professorial chairs to stimulate deep thinking and debates in certain areas, again to equip talented professors with the means to really tackle some of the problems that are facing Tanzania on an economic and socio-economic level. Similarly, we have redoubled our efforts to mobilize our associates, build links, and improve collaboration. We have jointly formed the African Research Universities alongside about 15 universities in Africa with a focus on practical and problem solving research.



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