On Thursday, 13th August 2020, 16:00 – 17:30, Botho University, Library Teaching Research Excellence(LTRE) Department hosted a Webinar titled “Industry-University Collaboration for Enhancing Employability”. The webinar was moderated by Botho University Pro-Vice Chancellor, Strategy, Mr Ananth Ram. The webinar featured 3 high-level Panelists.
The concept of this webinar was based on how universities and industry can work together to address the challenges faced by new graduates when they look for employment. This very important topic is made all the more relevant as the world deals with the seismic events posed by the COVID -19 global health pandemic. There was a diverse range of attendees from 17 countries, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Kingdom of Eswatini, Egypt, France, United States of America, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Attendees included students, Managers, Lecturers, Entrepreneurs, Industry Captains and interested professionals.
- Adolf Ndafenongo: Special Projects Manager, MTC (NAMIBIA)
Mr. Ndafenongo presented a Case Study of MTC and NUST which included collaboration on Research & Development, as well as funding of research activities for both students and lecturers. The collaboration also involved Internship programs that were special programs designed to connect students to real-world experience.
- Mr Lerata Pekane: The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing, Chartered Accountant and the Past President of the Lesotho Institute of Accountants (2009-2012) (LESOTHO).
Mr Pekane discussed, among other things, differences in raw talent, and talent from teaching or experience and how these can play a role in Employability as well as the roles of Producers, Entrepreneurs and Employers in creating jobs for people based on what talents they need for their businesses.
- Mandla Luphondvo: MTN Corporate Affairs Manager(ESWATINI)
Mr Luphondvo presented on the eSwatini perspective of employability, where, amongst other things he discussed distinctions between unemployment and lack of employment and how eSwatini tries to deal with unemployment using various strategies including private-public partnerships that support the employability of graduates, Government coordination with private and public institutions student exposure to the world of work particularly through the industrial attachment and, notably, the Job-shadow program.
This was a very productive and well-attended webinar and many attendees admitted they learnt a lot from the session meaning it had a high impact for those who attended. In an indication of the depth and relevance of the presentations made by our esteemed panelists, there were many questions asked and, though time constraints limited the number of questions that could be answered, the discussions remained relevant and constructive. This webinar provided some perspective for attendees from the Corporate world as well as those from the Academic world, matching the spirit behind the webinar of enhancing the levels of collaboration between these two important pillars of society.