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Chapter 5 University-Firm Interaction in the Region Glenda Kruss and Il-haam Petersen Contents University-Firm Interaction in the Region Executive summary 306 The problem 306 University-ﬁrm interaction 307 The methodology 307 The scale, of and propensity for, interaction 307 Drawing on the South African experience to plan strategically 309 Cautions and spaces for action 309 Introduction: Universities and economic development in the SADC countries 312 A focus on university-ﬁrm interaction in the SADC region 314 Methodology of the study 316 The chapter 324 Part 1: An overview of universities in the SADC countries 325 1.1 Research, science and technology, and innovation in the SADC region 325 1.2 The nature of the universities in the sample 336 Part 2: University collaboration and interaction in 13 SADC countries 345 2.1 Collaboration and partners 345 2.2 The existence of diﬀerent types of relationships with ﬁrms 348 2.3 Channels of communication 350 2.4 Outcomes of interaction 352 2.5 Features of university units that interact with ﬁrms 353 2.6 Features of ﬁrms that interact with universities 354 Part 3: Identifying patterns of interaction 355 3.1 Aggregating and distinguishing trends 355 3.2 A measure of existence of relationships with ﬁrms 356 3.3 Features of the four universities with moderate interaction 357 3.4 Universities with a small scale of relationships with ﬁrms 362 3.5 Universities with only isolated instances of interaction 364 3.6 Patterns of interaction 366 304 Part 4: Constraints and opportunities for interaction 367 4.1 Beneﬁts of interaction 367 Study Series 2008 4.2 Obstacles to interaction 368 4.3 Initiating interaction with ﬁrms 370 4.4 Positive perceptions 370 Part 5: The case of South Africa 371 5.1 The scale of university-ﬁrm interaction 371 5.2 Forms of interaction 373 5.3 Five patterns of university response 374 5.4 Informing strategic responses in SADC 379 Part 6: Promoting university-ﬁrm interaction in the SADC universities 380 6.1 The scale, of and propensity for, interaction 380 6.2 Drawing on the South African experience to plan strategically 382 6.3 Cautions and spaces for action 382 References 389 www.sarua.org 305 Executive summary University-Firm Interaction in the Region The problem The extent and ways in which universities as knowledge generators make their resources available for innovation in ﬁrms and industrial sectors can make a critical diﬀerence to knowledge intensiﬁcation and competitiveness in developing countries. The challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region are similar to other countries of the south, but at the same time, very speciﬁc. As Muchie (2008:1) so clearly proposes, the issue is how African universities can be aligned to economic development, poverty eradication and sustainability – “Here research and knowledge, far from being ivory tower pursuits, become critical to making poverty history and preparing countries to cope with disasters.” New knowledge and technological developments can be harnessed to address public health, food security, water resources, extraction of mineral wealth, exploitation of bio-diversity and indigenous knowledge. There is strong advocacy and an aspirational push from continental, regional and international organisations to promote science and technology, to enhance the role of the university and to promote university-ﬁrm interaction, but conditions for realising this vision are not optimal. There is a general awareness of the kinds of constraints experienced in African countries, such as insuﬃcient substantial political support for science and technology, inadequate science and technology policies, low research and development spending, low quality of sector education and training, high levels of brain drain, and weak science and technology institutions (NEPAD, 2003). The risk is that African universities will continue to be driven by external agendas that do not suﬃciently take these regional and national constraints into account. The danger is that they will be expected to – or aspire to – adopt uncritically the strategies and practices that have proved eﬀective in developed economies, or in developing economies with very diﬀerent trajectories of development. Hence, we need to understand the conditions of possibility for the new roles of the developmental university in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report aims to contribute to such a massive task in a very limited, highly focused and extremely modest manner. It focuses on one new role identiﬁed for the university as knowledge producer – that is, to enhance linkages and interaction with knowledge users, speciﬁcally ﬁrms. We focus on understanding the nature of existing university-ﬁrm interaction in the SADC universities at a single point in time, 2008. 306 We aim to do so in order to inform the work of the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) in promoting the interests of its member universities – ultimately SADC. Study Series 2008 University-ﬁrm interaction Understanding of universities’ role in facilitating technological upgrading in Sub-Saharan Africa has been largely speculative, proposing what could ideally be, or anecdotal, describing speciﬁc initiatives. We do not really know whether universities interact with ﬁrms on any signiﬁcant scale. If they do, which universities tend to interact most typically? What are the main forms of interaction that take place? What are the channels of interaction, and how do they beneﬁt universities and ﬁrms? Are these the most desirable and eﬀective forms, or should we focus on a wider, more strategic range of interactions? Empirical research is required to investigate the complex multiple tacit and codiﬁed forms of interaction possible between universities and ﬁrms in Southern Africa. It is important to understand the extent and nature of interaction between ﬁrms and universities as a ﬁrst step, in order to design strategic policy and mechanisms that do not simply impose ‘best practice’ drawn from elsewhere. On this basis, we can promote stronger interactivity and collaboration around research and technology development within the SADC region. The methodology The study had three empirical steps: • A descriptive analysis of the context for university-ﬁrm interaction in each of the 13 countries to inform the research design and data analysis, drawing on existing databases and secondary studies. • A survey of university-ﬁrm linkages and interaction from the perspective of universities in 13 SADC countries, linked to a comparative study of university-ﬁrm interaction in twelve countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. The goal was to obtain a minimum of 30 of the 41 universities in the 13 countries. Ultimately, despite our best eﬀorts, we received responses from 29 universities. • An analysis of forms of interaction and university organisational responses in South Africa, to inform strategic interventions. www.sarua.org 307 The scale of, and propensity, for interaction University-Firm Interaction in the Region A positive propensity The trends identiﬁed highlighted a positive propensity and orientation towards research, innovation and interaction with ﬁrms. The survey revealed a strong positive orientation on the part of most universities in the 13 SADC countries, evident in a widespread understanding of the potential beneﬁts of interaction with ﬁrms, and a strong positive evaluation of the importance of a range of forms and channels of interaction. A small scale of existence At this point in time, however, we found interaction to exist primarily in isolated instances or on a small scale across the sampled universities in the SADC region. There are aggregate trends that provide indications of directions and points for future intervention: • Collaboration between local universities exists most strongly, on a moderate to wide scale, and there is an encouraging scale of collaboration with public research institutions, although there are not many public research institutions in each country. • Collaboration on a moderate scale exists with a wide range of public sector and development partners – national government, regional government, community organisations and local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – potentially important for universities’ roles in support of local development. • Those forms of interaction tending towards a moderate scale are the education of work-ready students, related to the core teaching role of most universities, as well as consultancy. • The channels of communication with ﬁrms that are most freely available in the public domain, informal and tacit, are most important. • There are few outcomes of interaction with ﬁrms other than the traditional results of university activity such as students and publications. • Initiating interaction has tended to be a matter for individual academics. • Universities have research policy and structures, but very few have internal and external interface structures to support and facilitate innovation. 308 • Key obstacles that the universities prioritised are: • the lack of understanding and knowledge of ﬁrms and universities of one another’s activities Study Series 2008 and potential; • the need to build research capacity and infrastructure; and • the need to overcome the dominance of foreign-driven research agendas. • Two critical obstacles that the universities did not prioritise are issues of intellectual property rights and of the geographic location of universities in relation to centres of economic activity. Groups of universities distinguished Noting that more substantial and contextually grounded research is required, we made preliminary distinctions between three groups of SADC universities, based on the scale of interaction relative to the SADC countries, and on their institutional proﬁle. These three groups are: • Those universities with a moderate scale of interaction with industry: • Relatively new medium to large universities with a new strategic science and technology orientation focused on national development needs. • Those with a small scale of interaction: • Established larger universities with a more traditional orientation. • Very new small universities with a new-technology and entrepreneurial orientation. • Those with isolated instances of interaction • Established small universities. • Small new universities with an orientation towards new technology. Such distinctions potentially facilitate more nuanced and targeted developmental interventions aimed at groups of universities with similar experiences. www.sarua.org 309 Drawing on the South African experience to plan strategically University-Firm Interaction in the Region The scale of interaction in South African universities is much larger and takes a greater variety of forms, with the respondent universities displaying ﬁve distinct responses to interaction, depending on their research capability and their organisational structure. Insights from the South African case are particularly pertinent to other SADC countries, rather than an unreﬂective appropriation of forms of interaction from more developed economies. Kruss (2005a, 2005b) has proposed a matrix of forms of interaction that individual universities may use to plan to grow interaction strategically. Once a university has set strategic targets in terms of its own conditions, capabilities and institutional vision, it can determine what policies and structures it needs to put in place. The analysis highlights a number of the key policies and structures that have worked in the South African context that can inform practice in the SADC universities. Cautions and spaces for action The analysis of the survey data and of the South African context highlights a number of areas for caution, as well as potential spaces for action. Each proposal highlighted here is based on the assumption that strategies should build on intensifying and elaborating areas of existing strength and avoid creating brand-new initiatives for which the right conditions may not exist. • Institutions need to interrogate the models they adopt in relation to what is possible. Particular caution is needed in appropriating models of the ‘entrepreneurial university’ that emerged in developed economies. • A diﬀerentiated strategy for intervention is required that builds on strengths and capacities and ensures variation and balance across the higher education system. • Support for curriculum restructuring in terms of the demands of a knowledge economy and local development needs is an important focus. • Universities should pursue consultancies and contracts as part of a concerted institutional strategy. This should be regulated by a university contracts oﬃce so that they act to institutional, and not simply individual, beneﬁt. • It is vital to focus on building research capability in selected niche areas so that critical mass can be built in a university, and research agendas can be informed by local developmental needs. 310 • SARUA should investigate the most eﬃcient mechanisms to build collaborative research networks between groups of neighbouring countries and across the region to create regional centres of Study Series 2008 excellence and regional technology platforms, taking into account diﬀerentiation between countries and universities with distinct histories. SARUA should pursue mechanisms to promote knowledge exchange between universities and ﬁrms. • SARUA should develop a regional network to extend and deepen research to support interaction. www.sarua.org 311 Introduction: Universities and economic University-Firm Interaction in the Region development in the SADC countries The extent and ways in which universities as knowledge generators make their resources available for innovation in ﬁrms and industrial sectors can make a critical diﬀerence to knowledge intensiﬁcation and competitiveness in developing countries (Albuquerque, 2001; Bernardes and Albuquerque, 2003; Box and Engelhard, 2006; Correa, 1995; Passos et al., 2004). The challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa and the SADC region are similar to other countries of the south, but at the same time, very speciﬁc (Gammeltoft et al., 2003; Adeoti 2002, Lall and Pietrobelli, 2002 ). As Muchie (2008:1) so clearly proposes, the issue is how African universities can be aligned to economic development, poverty eradication and sustainability – “Here research and knowledge, far from being ivory tower pursuits, become critical to making poverty history and preparing countries to cope with disasters.” New knowledge and technological developments can be harnessed to address public health, food security, water resources, extraction of mineral wealth, exploitation of bio-diversity and indigenous knowledge (see UNECA, 2002 and UNCTAD, 2004 for instance). There is emerging consensus around a new vision for African universities, but conditions for realising this vision are not optimal. As a recent United Nations report on sustainable development in Africa set out the challenge: Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, science and technology investments were not prioritised despite considerable empirical evidence from South East Asia and other regions showing that investment in science and technology yields direct and indirect beneﬁts to national economies… Institutions of higher education... are in urgent need of renewal after many years of neglect and disorientation from local and national priorities (UNECA, 2008:134-5). The impact of decades of the World Bank education and development agenda on higher education has been negative, resulting in the widespread decimation of academic capacity and university infrastructure since the 1970s, when priority was accorded to promoting universal primary education. Samoﬀ and Carrol (2003) argue that the inﬂuence has been both direct and indirect, with complex interactions along multiple pathways. With each shift in World Bank policy, they see a corresponding change in African countries, reﬂecting in part the internalisation of assumptions, as well as convergence with local agendas to limit the authority and activities of universities. The result is that universities have had little autonomy and have tended to respond primarily to externally set priorities and agendas. Recent global and regional developments have promoted optimism and renewed eﬀorts to build African universities and science and technology systems. The establishment of new universities since 2000 has corresponded with shifts in World Bank policy towards promoting a knowledge economy and asserting a new developmental role for African universities (World Bank, 2000, 2002; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2000). Bloom et al. (2005), amongst others, have 312 argued that growing higher education can promote technological ‘catch-up’ and enhance a developing country’s ability to participate in the global knowledge economy. They have made the inﬂuential Study Series 2008 proposition that “investing in tertiary education in Africa may accelerate technological diﬀusion, which would decrease knowledge gaps and help reduce poverty in the region” (Bloom et al., 2005:ii). University systems play multiple roles in innovation systems in a knowledge-based economy (Schartinger et al., 2002; Nelson, 1993). Basic or fundamental scientiﬁc research, and contribution to knowledge generation in the long term, is the ﬁrst role, which is important at the technological frontier. The point is often made that this role is critical for the long-term sustainability of the knowledge- generation capacity of a national higher education system (Nelson, 2004). Second, universities may conduct applied or strategic research in the form of prototypes or designs that are directly applicable to industry. And third, through their teaching they provide graduates who contribute directly to industrial innovation in the form of research and development workers in ﬁrms or through personnel exchanges between universities and ﬁrms. Fourth is the ‘spill over’ indirect contribution through teaching in general, to provide graduates with high-level skills and requisite knowledge to work in and manage ﬁrms in a knowledge-based economy, across a range of industrial sectors (Lundvall, 1992, 1999; Kraak, 2007). A ﬁfth role of universities in the contemporary global context is that of the ‘entrepreneurial’ university that can generate revenue to supplement public funding – a role that is extremely controversial and strongly debated by academics and universities. Universities in the SADC region are now challenged to play a renewed developmental role, not only as producers of skilled human resources, but also as generators and disseminators of research, technology and new locally relevant knowledge, and as facilitators of technological upgrading for a wide range of private and public enterprises. An emerging new paradigm frames the challenges of sustainable development within the knowledge economy, pointing to the opportunities for Africa. There is strong advocacy and an aspirational push from continental, regional and international organisations to promote science and technology, enhance the role of the university and promote university-ﬁrm interaction (African Development Bank, 2007a and 2007b; SADC, 1997; NEPAD, 2003; Abertay, 2005). To take but one instance, the Association of African Universities-Association of Commonwealth Universities has identiﬁed nine themes in its programme to renew the African university, including: To encourage the development of partnerships between universities and the corporate sector to promote the development of both urgently needed speciﬁc skills and entrepreneurship (Abertay, 2005:3). www.sarua.org The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), through the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology, has led the adoption of a plan of action for science and technology, centred on the vision of an Africa “free of poverty and well integrated into the global knowledge economy through science and technology and innovation” (AU, 2007:4) . Visions of what should be in the future, 313 of the promise of science and technology and the knowledge economy to achieve development goals, abound. University-Firm Interaction in the Region In many of these vision documents there is an awareness of the kinds of constraints experienced in African countries, such as weak political support for science and technology, inadequate policies, low research and development spending, low quality of sector education and training, high levels of brain drain, weak science and technology institutions, and weak links between public research and development and industry (NEPAD, 2003). However, the risk is that African universities will continue to be driven by external agendas that do not take these regional and national constraints suﬃciently into account. The danger is that they will be expected to – or aspire to – adopt uncritically the strategies and practices that have proved eﬀective in developed economies, or in developing economies with very diﬀerent trajectories of development. Hence, we need to understand the conditions of possibility for the new roles of the developmental university in Sub-Saharan Africa. This report aims to contribute to such a massive task in a very limited, highly focused and extremely modest manner. It will focus on one new role identiﬁed for the university as knowledge producer – that is, to enhance linkages and interaction with knowledge users, speciﬁcally ﬁrms. We focus on understanding the nature of existing university-ﬁrm interaction in the SADC universities at a single point in time, 2008. We aim to do so in order to inform the work of SARUA in promoting the interests of its member universities. A focus on university-ﬁrm interaction in the SADC region The understanding of the role of universities in facilitating technological upgrading in Sub-Saharan Africa has been largely speculative, proposing ideally what could be (Adeoti, 2002), or anecdotal, describing speciﬁc initiatives (see, for example, Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2006). We do not really know whether universities interact with ﬁrms on any signiﬁcant scale. If they do, which universities tend to interact most typically? What are the main forms of interaction that take place, what are the channels of interaction, and how do they beneﬁt universities and ﬁrms? Are these the most desirable and eﬀective forms, or should we focus on a wider, more strategic range of interactions? Empirical research is required to investigate the complex multiple tacit and codiﬁed forms of interaction possible between universities and ﬁrms in Southern Africa. It is important to understand the extent and nature of interaction between ﬁrms and universities as a ﬁrst step, in order to design strategic policy and mechanisms that do not simply impose ‘best practice’ drawn from elsewhere. On this basis, we can promote stronger interactivity and collaboration around research and technology development within the SADC region. 314 Existing research on university-ﬁrm interaction The existing research literature on university-industry interaction is predominantly based on the Study Series 2008 experience of large, developed countries. It is primarily focused on understanding the dynamics of a single speciﬁc form of university-industry interaction, whether the extent of co-patenting or co- publication, the optimal conditions for promoting spin-oﬀ ﬁrms, technology transfer oﬃces or science parks, and so on (Klitkou et al., 2007). As South Africa accounts for 75% of the higher education enrolments in SADC, it is important to consider this country’s body of literature on university-ﬁrm interaction. It seems that much of it is inﬂuenced by United States research and focuses on the university’s role in technology transfer (Garduno, 2003; Pouris, 2006). There is some research on the perceptions of industry leaders (Wickham, 2002; Mouton et al., 2003), but generally, research generated in South Africa is relatively small scale (Abrahams, 2005; SAUVCA, 2004). What does not exist suﬃciently in the research literature are systemic studies of the scale and nature of university-industry interaction that exist across a national or regional system of innovation, particularly in a developing-country, and an African, context. There is a small body of emerging literature that can inform a SADC study, however. HSRC research conducted from 2001 to 2004 attempted to map the extent and forms of university-industry interaction in South Africa (Kruss, 2005a, 2005b, 2006). The studies provided insight into the forms that university-industry linkages take and into the structures, practices and dynamics within universities that promoted or hindered their formation, operation and successful performance. Other emergent studies provide further direction. For instance, researchers in the Developing Universities network are conducting case studies of university-industry interaction in Tanzania and Mozambique, amongst others (Mwamila and Diyamett, 2006). Likewise, a World Bank study of universities’ contribution to economic development focused on Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius, amongst others (Bunwaree and Sobhee, 2007; Kaijage, 2007; Kruss and Lorentzen, 2007). These studies provide useful templates and conceptual frameworks for analysis. What is now needed is a systematic investigation of the scale and nature of university-industry interactions in the SADC countries. Such research can facilitate comparison of countries and regions at diﬀerent stages of development and inform regional and institutional development strategies. Research questions The objective of this SARUA study is to analyse the current state of university-ﬁrm interactions across the SADC countries, in order to inform SARUA interventions. In particular the study examines the www.sarua.org following questions: • What is the scale of interaction between universities and ﬁrms across the SADC countries? • What are the distinct forms of interaction that take place most commonly? • What are the products and beneﬁts of interaction? • What are the main facilitators or constraints identiﬁed by those involved? 315 Such a mapping process is a crucial foundation to inform future networking between higher education and business or industry at the institutional and regional level. It is essential to know what ‘exists’ in University-Firm Interaction in the Region order to be able to plan what ‘could be’ in a realistic and strategic manner. Methodology of the study One research methodology would be to access data that indicate where research specialisation and industrial strength coincide (Lorentzen, 2008). This is important and is certainly possible for some of the SADC countries. However, the data on which key indicators rely are not comprehensive, up-to- date or easily available across all the countries. Hence, as a ﬁrst step towards understanding ‘what currently exists’, a survey of university-ﬁrm linkages and interaction from the perspective of universities in each of the SADC countries was conducted. Table 1 describes the data available that informed the design and methodology. It lists the 14 SADC countries, the number of institutions and the size of higher education enrolments in each, as well as their proportion of total regional enrolments in 2004. The dominance of South Africa is striking. The survey thus excluded South Africa and focused on the 13 other SADC countries, for two reasons. First, data are less available for the 13 countries, whereas it was possible to draw on and integrate the emerging body of data and research on South Africa. Second, including South Africa would signiﬁcantly skew analysis of data trends for the region as a whole. Note that this does not mean South Africa is excluded from the study altogether, only that South African universities were not included in the survey. Table 1 Universities in the SADC region 2004 Number of Total enrolment % of SADC total institutions South Africa 23 717 793 75,2 Zimbabwe 7 55 689 5,8 Tanzania 4 42 948 4,5 Madagascar 6 42 143 4,4 Mozambique 3 22 256 2,3 Mauritius 2 17 781 1,9 Botswana 1 13 221 1,4 Angola 1 12 982 1,4 Namibia 1 11 788 1,2 Swaziland 1 6 954 0,7 Lesotho 1 6 108 0,6 Malawi 1 5 089 0,5 Zambia 2 Not available Not available Democratic Republic of 4 Not available Not available the Congo Source: SARUA website 316 The survey was designed as an audit, in that it would attempt to gather data on the state of play at all universities in the 13 countries. Study Series 2008 The sample By 2008 there were 41 university members and potential members of SARUA in the 13 countries, excluding South Africa. Table 2 lists the number of universities in each country included in the sample. Table 2 The audit sample 2008 Country Number targeted Number responded Zimbabwe 9 8 Tanzania 7 5 Madagascar 6 4 Mozambique 4 3 Mauritius 2 2 Botswana 1 1 Angola 1 0 Namibia 1 0 Swaziland 1 1 Lesotho 1 0 Malawi 2 2 Zambia 2 2 Democratic Republic of the Congo 4 1 TOTAL 41 29 Source: HSRC database The process required to obtain the sample and the implications for our analysis will be discussed in the sections below. The instrument The research was strengthened through links with a comparative study of university-ﬁrm interaction currently being conducted by the HSRC and partners in twelve countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia as part of an International Development Research Centre-funded project entitled Knowledge for Development: University-Industry Interaction in Sub-Saharan Africa. www.sarua.org A university survey instrument was developed for the comparative project by the Korean and Latin American project teams; these are adaptations of an instrument originally developed by Cohen, Nelson and Walsh (2002) in the American context. That research aimed to assess the contribution of university and government research institutes to industrial innovation in the US, in order to deepen understanding of the determinants of technological change and contribute to debate on 317 the economic impact of publicly funded research. The Korean and Latin American research aimed to evaluate the national contribution of public research, primarily to try to understand the ways in which University-Firm Interaction in the Region their economies can ‘catch up’ to those of the developed world (Albuquerque et al., 2005). Such an instrument is thus appropriate for our purpose, to strategise the contribution of universities in SADC to economic development. An advantage of this instrument is that it has been adapted and administered in other developing countries such as Korea, India, China and Brazil (Albuquerque et al., 2005; Eun et al., 2006). This also provides a basis for future comparison with regional trends in SADC. Adaptation of the instrument At the core of the study is an attempt to investigate the disciplinary ﬁelds and industrial sectors in relation to which there is interaction, the channels and modes of interaction, and the outcomes and beneﬁts of interaction. Adaptation of the instrument was informed by a scan of university websites, to investigate the distinct features of universities in SADC. A number of contextual features were taken into account. First, the universities are relatively young, with most having been established in the 1960s, linked to processes of national independence from the colonial powers. A sub-set is even younger, having been established since the late 1990s. For the most part, universities have a strong teaching focus, and are aimed at the preparation of local elites. There has not been a strong focus on science and technology, nor a research base. Questions were added to determine the existence of collaboration in general, with a range of partners. Items that reﬂected the teaching focus more strongly, as well as more tacit forms of interaction, were added to the schedules. Second, signiﬁcant new trends have been the establishment of universities dedicated to speciﬁc niche areas, such as a university of science and technology, or the establishment of new institutions in regions that have historically been more isolated, away from a concentration of higher education around capital cities. Questions were added to determine the location of such new campuses and foci. Third, on a logistical level, adaptation was informed by the fact that the audit focused on a university as the unit of analysis, whereas the original instrument was designed to be administered to individual academics. This meant that new items were devised in order to assess the scale of interaction within a university. For ease of administration and completion, the instrument was divided into two separate schedules. Schedule 1 focused on the university itself, investigating academic structure, size, location and focus, and aiming to gain a sense of the importance of research, teaching and outreach in its functions. It was proposed that Schedule I could be completed by the vice-chancellor: academic or the director of research with help from the registrar. 318 Schedule 2 required reﬂection on the existence and importance of various forms of interaction with ﬁrms for academics and researchers at the university. We requested that it should be completed by Study Series 2008 the most senior person who is familiar with the university’s research and outreach activities; again, the vice-chancellor: academic or the director of research. Schedule 2 was designed so that it could also be completed by each leader of a research centre or unit in the university, in order to gain a sense of the scale of activity. The aim was to have one completed Schedule 1 on each university context, and at least one completed Schedule 2 reﬂecting on forms of interaction in the university. Survey administration A high response rate depended on support from institutional research managers who appreciated the potential value of such data. Hence, the initial step was to network with senior institutional managers responsible for research and development in each university in the 13 countries, to convince them of the value of such a survey. This took two forms: • Mailing of a letter introducing the HSRC, the project leader and the project, including copies of articles on university-ﬁrm interaction in South Africa. • Presentation of the research proposal at a SARUA workshop in May 2008, attended by a number of vice- chancellors or their representatives. This personal contact impacted positively on the rate of return. SARUA records were used to create a contact database. The process of networking through a set of letters, email and telephonic contact with vice-chancellors, deans or directors was protracted and intense. Table 3 illustrates the successive waves of communication, moving from postal administration, through email administration of the survey instrument, through extensive personal telephonic contact interspersed with emails, through in-person requests by Centre for Research on Science and Technology researchers visiting some of the countries, to ongoing telephonic follow-up. www.sarua.org 319 Table 3 Process of administration of the survey Postal correspondence Date University-Firm Interaction in the Region Letter 1 9 April 2008 Letter 3 and schedules (English) 25 April 2008 Letter 3 and schedules (French) 13 May 2008 Email correspondence Date Number of Number responses of emails undelivered Letter 1 9 April 2008 2 6 Letter 2 16 April 2008 8 6 Letter 3 and schedules (English) 6 May 2008 11 8 Letter 3 and schedules (French) 13 May 2008 1 3 Reminder: Letter 1 and 3 and schedules 22 – 26 May 2008 3 4 (English and French) Follow-up emails with SARUA workshop 26 May – 3 June 2008 5 0 contacts* Additional reminder emails 3 June – 18 July 2008 7 6 (English and French) Telephone correspondence Date Number of Average universities number of calls per university Telephone reminders (English) 27 May – 15 5 15 August 2008 Telephone reminders (French) 3 and 20 June 2008 7 2 Centre for Research on Science and Date Number of Number of Technology country visits universities universities with no contact Hand delivery of schedules 1 – 30 July 14 4 * Delegates who attended the workshop and recommended contacts A French translation of the instruments was created for use in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius and Madagascar, and a translator was engaged to telephone these universities to follow up submissions. The Centre for Research on Science and Technology country visits were most successful in eliciting responses from the universities in Zimbabwe. In the case of Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar, the universities in our sample were situated in isolated locations that Centre for Research on Science and Technology researchers were not able to visit. 320 The realised sample The goal was to obtain a minimum of 30 of the 41 universities. Study Series 2008 The returned sample Ultimately, despite our best eﬀorts, we received responses from 29 universities. Of these, two universities indicated they were too new to be included in the study. The University of Dodoma in Tanzania eﬀectively came into operation in September 2007, when they admitted the ﬁrst group of students. As the new deputy vice-chancellor: academic explained: We are not even one year old in the business! Thus, at the minute we are extremely busy and tied up with a wide array of activities to put proper operational systems/ instruments/facilities in place. Recruitment of academic and administrative staﬀ is high on our agenda. Over the past few months we have been busy preparing curricula for new programmes. Our research policy guidelines and priority areas document is not yet even published. It is in the ﬁnal touches. So I ﬁnd it diﬃcult indeed at this stage for us to genuinely respond to questions about our experiences on interaction with industry (Prof Kinabo, 2008, personal communication, 1 June). Similarly, Lupane University in Zimbabwe is stalled in the process of being established. It registered only twelve students in 2007, and the construction of the campus was delayed by a land dispute between the government and the owner of the farm on which it is situated (http://changezimbabwe. com/). In July 2008 the Zimbabwe Independent reported that construction of the campus had stalled once again, due to inadequate funding and a critical shortage of building material in the context of the crippling inﬂation rate (http://allafrica.com). A major disappointment was that the hard copy submission by the University of Zambia was lost in the post. Eﬀorts to encourage the university to redo the schedules were fruitless. The realised sample thus consisted of 26 universities. Unfortunately, some universities submitted Schedule 1 only, and some submitted Schedule 2 only. We thus have a usable sample of 22 institutions, on which the analysis is based. The non-respondents While reading the analysis in the sections below, it will be important to know which 12 universities did not respond and were not included in the study. Table 4 lists these 12 universities, providing a brief description from their website. Like Dodoma, some of these universities were too recently www.sarua.org 321 established to be able to participate meaningfully. Others, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar, were located in remote and isolated areas, making communication University-Firm Interaction in the Region extremely diﬃcult. Major communication diﬃculties were experienced in relation to the University of Agostinho Neto. The universities in italics promised to submit returns after repeated calls and emails, but by the time we began the analysis, they had not done so. Table 4 SADC universities that did not participate in the survey Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Established in 1954 as the University of Lovanium, the university underwent two transitions. First, it merged with two other universities in 1971 to form the National University of Zaire; and then ﬁnally became the University of Kinshasa after the National University of Zaire was divided into three separate universities: the University of Kinshasa, Kisangani University, and the University of Lubumbashi. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Kinshasa). The key focus areas of the university are sciences and health sciences. Lubumbashi The history of the University of Lubumbashi dates back to the establishment of the University Oﬃcielle du Congo and Rwanda-Urundi in 1956, which underwent a few structural changes before being merged with other academic institutions to become the National University of Zaire. The University of Lubumbashi was one of the universities formed from the division of the University of Zaire into three separate institutions in 1981 (www.unilu.ac.cd). The university is currently the largest university in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is located in the resource-rich “copperbelt province” of Katanga. (http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Lubumbashi,www.unilu.ac.cd). Kisangani The University of Kisangani, initially the Free University of Congo, was founded in 1963 by Protestant missionaries. The university is one of the three universities formed from the original National University of Zaire in 1981 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Kisangani). Tanzania UCLAS/Ardhi The University College of Lands and Architectural Studies, now Ardhi University, was founded in 1956 as a survey training school (www.uclas.ac.tz). In 1996 the university became a constituent college of the University of Dar es Salaam. Ardhi University is a relatively small university with the following key focus areas: land surveying, urban and rural planning, and land and environmental engineering. (www.uib.no/udsm/udsm/uclas). Mzumbe Mzumbe University is a relatively new teaching and research university that was established in 2006 (www.mzumbe.ac.tz). The university faculties include faculties of Law, Science and Technology, Commerce, Social Sciences, and Public Administration and Management. Mozambique Instituto Superior de The Instituto Superior de Relacoes Internacionais is a relatively small teaching Relacoes Internacionais and research university that was established in 1986 (Mario, Fry, Levey and Chilundo, 2003). It is one of three universities in the country that have sought to institutionalise university research activities. (www.bc.edu/bc org/avp/soe/ cihe/inhea/proﬁles/Mozambique.htm). Although growing in size, this institution is still striving to obtain full university status (www.unisa.ac.za). 322 Madagascar Study Series 2008 Mahajanga The University of Mahajanga, previously one of the regional university centres of the University of Madagascar, was established in 1977. At the time it was the only institution specialising in dental medicine. The University of Mahajanga became an autonomous university in 1988. Currently, the key focus areas of the university are science and the health sciences (www.univ-mahajanga.mg). Universite de Taomasina Universite de Taomasina, previously one of the regional university centres of the University of Madagascar, was established in 1977 and became an autonomous university in 1988. The university’s key focus areas are economics and management, and arts and education (www.refer.mg). Zimbabwe Great Zimbabwe The Great Zimbabwe University, previously Masvingo State University, is one of the universities the Zimbabwean government opened after independence in 1980. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masvingo_State_University). The university was renamed in 2007. Angola Agostinho Neto The history of the Agostinho Neto University dates back to the establishment of the General Studies University of Angola in 1962. In 1976, after independence, the university was renamed the University of Angola, and in 1985 it became Agostinho Neto University. It is a fairly large university that has campuses in ten of the 18 provinces in the country (www.uan-angola.org). Lesotho National University The National University of Lesotho, previously part of the University of of Lesotho Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, is the only university in Lesotho. The university’s history dates back to the Catholic University College, established in 1945 by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy of Southern Africa to become a constituent of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland in 1966. Namibia University of Namibia The University of Namibia was established in 1992 and is the only university in the country. It is a relatively large university with a diverse subject area. Source: HSRC database Table 4 reﬂects that we were not able to include the only institutions in Lesotho, Angola and Namibia. This was despite considerable eﬀort. The situation at the University of Lesotho is worth some discussion, as we were unable to secure participation because of instability and change in research management. Follow-up with contacts suggested to the Centre for Research on Science and Technology researchers during their visit led www.sarua.org us to identify an acting director of research and graduate studies, whose brief was to undertake an audit of research activities, and develop a research policy and a framework for postgraduate study. When we contacted him, it was days before the end of his ﬁve-month secondment, and he refused 323 to participate in the study on behalf of the university. This is perhaps a reﬂection of the diﬃculties he reported in eliciting research proﬁles from academics to inform the university audit. University-Firm Interaction in the Region For Madagascar we have managed to include a spread of universities. For Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the institutions that have not responded tend to be very newly established, and we can speculate that akin to Dodoma, they did not ﬁnd the survey relevant to their experience. The majority of Democratic Republic of the Congo universities did not respond, given communication problems, but here too, we may speculate that the universities did not ﬁnd the survey relevant to their experience, given the civil war and state of political instability until recently. The chapter The chapter is structured to provide an overview of the current state of university-ﬁrm interaction in the SADC universities, in order to inform interventions. Part 1 provides a contextual overview of the SADC countries, and the nature of their science and technology systems and their higher education systems. It then presents descriptive data on the universities in the sample against this background. Part 2 considers the extent and importance of collaboration with a range of higher education, government and civil partners. It focuses on analysing the nature of interaction and channels of communication between universities and ﬁrms as revealed by the survey data, aggregating across the sample. Part 3 attempts to identify the diﬀerences between SADC universities, analysing the proﬁles of three groups of universities based on the extent of their interaction with ﬁrms. Part 4 goes on to consider the ways in which all the universities perceive the beneﬁts and constraints of interaction. Based on the premise that South African university policy and practice has much to suggest for SADC countries in general, Part 5 draws on existing research to describe the state of interaction in universities in this country. The section further indicates the diﬀerent ways in which universities respond to the challenge by setting up policy mechanisms and structures to manage distinct forms of interaction. Finally, Part 6 summarises the main trends of the survey and of the analysis of the South African case. On this basis, it provides a set of cautions and spaces for action, to guide strategic interventions. 324 Part 1: An overview of universities in the Study Series 2008 SADC countries This section provides a description of the SADC university landscape. It begins with a contextualisation based on available published research on the state of science and technology and research systems in each country. Against this context, we present an analysis of the universities in the sample. 1.1 Research, science and technology, and innovation in the SADC region It is clear that in order to provide usable insights, we need to analyse the 14 SADC countries relative to one another in the region, and in relation to Sub-Saharan Africa, rather than in relation to capability and practice in the developed economies. 1.1.1 General levels of development Table 5 draws from a recent SARUA (2008) commissioned report to illustrate the general levels of development of the 14 SADC countries. The size of a population is pertinent to the relative size of the research and science and technology systems and to the demands of alignment between knowledge producers and knowledge users. Thus, we see that there are three groups of countries: very small countries with a population of less than 3 million, those between 3 and 30 million and large countries with over 30 million. Likewise, the per capita income is an indication of the relative economic health of a country, its likely investment in science and technology and the generation of wealth from science and technology. Here, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia stand out, although we may expect Mauritius to be included in this group. At least half of the SADC countries recorded a gross national income of $1 000 per person per annum or lower in 2003, classifying them amongst the poorest countries in the world. Another indicator commonly used to compare countries is the United Nations Human Development Index (UNDP, 2001). The data in Table 5 conﬁrm the trend that Mauritius, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia stand out in their levels of development relative to the SADC region. www.sarua.org 325 Table 5 Demographic indicators of SADC countries Total population Purchasing Human Human million 2007 power parity Development Development University-Firm Interaction in the Region estimate gross national Index rank Index rank SADC income per capita US$ 2003 Democratic 65,0 640 168 13 Republic of the Congo Tanzania 39,3 620 159 9 Mozambique 20,9 1 070 172 14 Madagascar 19,4 800 143 7 Malawi 13,6 600 166 12 Zimbabwe 12,3 2 180 151 8 Angola 12,3 1 890 162 10 Zambia 11,5 850 165 11 Lesotho 2,1 3 120 138 5 Namibia 2,0 6 620 125 4 Botswana 1,8 8 370 124 3 Mauritius 1,2 Not available 65 1 Swaziland 1,1 Not available 141 6 South Africa 47,0 10 270 121 2 Source: SARUA (2008) 1.1.2 Levels of development of the knowledge economy In this section we consider a very useful set of indicators for our purposes, drawn from the World Bank’s knowledge assessment methodology index, designed to facilitate comparisons across the global knowledge economy (Chen and Dahlman, 2005). The knowledge assessment methodology’s Knowledge Economy Index is a composite index compiled as the average of the normalised values of 12 of 80 indicators relating to four pillars considered critical for the knowledge economy. These are the economic and institutional regime; the levels of the educated and skilled population; the information infrastructure; and the innovation system of ﬁrms, universities and public research institutes (Kamara et al., 2007). Figure 1 depicts the Knowledge Economy Index scores for the 14 SADC countries and Sub-Saharan Africa, normalised to the ‘rest of the world’, and Table 6 presents the data. The data are presented in time series for 1995 and for the most recently available data, which tend to be from 2002 to 2006. Note that there are no recent data available for three countries, and none whatsoever for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is a pity as it limits the usefulness of the indicator for our purposes, but nevertheless, it can be used to identify pertinent trends. 326 The average score for Sub-Saharan Africa relative to the rest of the world is a low 2,8, which, despite a slight increase in the economic index, reﬂects a deterioration from 1995 (3,1). The highest score, Study Series 2008 relative to the rest of the world, is 5,8 for South Africa, indicating low levels of preparation for the knowledge economy in the SADC region overall. Five SADC countries score above the African average, and all except for Mauritius show a slight deterioration over time, with a signiﬁcant shift downward in Swaziland. This tool is thus useful to compare the development of key features of the knowledge economy in a country over time relative to its group, whether the group is Sub-Saharan Africa, the developed world or the world in general (all). Figure 1 Knowledge Economy Index SADC universities, normalised to all countries Knowledge Economy Index – comparison group: All South Africa Mauritius Namibia Botswana Swaziland Africa Zimbabwe Lesotho Tanzania Mozambique Angola Most recent data not available Madagascar Most recent data not available Malawi Most recent data not available Zambia 0,0 2,0 4,0 6,0 8,0 10,0 Economic regime Innovation Education Information and communication technology Source: Knowledge assessment methodology (2007) (http://info.worldbank.org/etools/kam2/KAM_page7.asp) www.sarua.org 327 Table 6 SADC countries Knowledge Economy Index (comparison group: all) University-Firm Interaction in the Region Country Knowledge Economic Innovation Education Information and Economy incentive and communication Index institutional technology regime Recent 1995 Recent 1995 Recent 1995 Recent 1995 Recent 1995 South Africa 5,8 5,9 5,8 4,2 6,9 7,1 5,0 5,8 5,38 6,5 Mauritius 5,4 5,2 7,0 6,5 3,7 4,0 4,6 3,7 6,50 6,4 Namibia 4,2 4,3 7,1 5,3 3,3 4,0 2,6 3,7 3,92 4,1 Botswana 4,0 4,5 5,3 5,7 4,3 4,7 2,7 3,4 3,72 4,2 Swaziland 2,8 4,2 2,6 5,6 4,5 4,6 1,7 3,2 2,58 3,4 Africa 2,8 3,1 2,8 2,6 4,3 4,6 1,5 1,7 2,58 3,6 Zimbabwe 2,6 3,4 0,3 2,2 4,1 4,9 2,4 3,6 3,55 2,9 Lesotho 2,3 2,6 2,7 3,0 2,7 2,8 1,9 2,0 2,14 2,4 Tanzania 2,1 2,2 4,0 3,5 2,4 2,6 1,1 1,0 0,95 1,8 Mozambique 1,5 1,8 3,2 3,4 1,8 1,8 0,2 0,3 0,95 1,6 Angola 1,5 1,3 1,8 0,6 2,4 2,4 0,9 0,7 0,98 1,6 Madagascar Not 2,0 4,9 1,6 2,5 3,5 Not 1,3 0,66 1,7 available available Malawi Not 2,3 2,7 3,9 2,1 2,7 Not 0,9 0,41 1,5 available available Zambia Not 3,2 3,0 4,5 2,4 3,1 Not 2,1 1,55 3,1 available available Source: Knowledge assessment methodology (2007) (http://info.worldbank.org/etools/kam2/KAM_page7.asp) The Knowledge Economy Index tool can also be used to assess the relative growth or decline of key features of the knowledge economy within a speciﬁc country over time. We speciﬁcally calculated the Knowledge Economy Index for the SADC countries relative to the Sub-Saharan Africa group, as the more appropriate unit of comparative analysis. Figure 2 reﬂects the composite score, and Table 7 the underlying data. There are no major surprises in the rank order. The data suggest that in the SADC region, South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia and Botswana are most prepared to deal with the challenges of the knowledge economy. Thereafter, it is very diﬃcult to categorise, as the eﬀect is skewed by missing data for Madagascar, Malawi and Zambia. In fact, the Knowledge Economy Index discourages superﬁcial ranking or ‘league table’ exercises. If we examine the composite indicator over time, the SADC picture is not encouraging. Only South Africa and Mauritius have moved upward, with Namibia static, and the rest experiencing varying degrees of decline. 328 Examining the origins of this pattern is insightful. Considering the economy indicator over time, eight of the countries show an improved economic incentive and institutional regime; Botswana remains Study Series 2008 more or less stable; and ﬁve recorded a worsened regime, most notably, Zimbabwe. In comparison, a similar exercise with regard to the innovation indicator shows that only two countries, Mozambique and Mauritius, display a higher score, two remain static (South Africa and Zimbabwe) and the rest show various degrees of decline. Likewise, the education indicator has declined in all but Lesotho, Tanzania and Angola, and the information and communication technology indicator has declined in all but Mauritius. Figure 2 Knowledge Economy Index SADC universities, normalised to Africa Knowledge Economy Index – comparison group: Africa South Africa Mauritius Namibia Botswana Swaziland Zimbabwe Lesotho Tanzania Angola Mozambique Most recent data not available Madagascar Most recent data not available Malawi Most recent data not available Zambia 0,0 2,0 4,0 6,0 8,0 10,0 Economic regime Innovation Education Information and communication technology Source: Knowledge assessment methodology (2007) (http://info.worldbank.org/etools/kam2/KAM_page7.asp) www.sarua.org 329 Table 7 SADC countries Knowledge Economy Index (comparison group: Africa) University-Firm Interaction in the Region Country Knowledge Economic Innovation Education Information and Economy incentive and communication Index institutional technology regime Recent 1995 Recent 1995 Recent 1995 Recent 1995 Recent 1995 South Africa 9,5 9,0 9,2 6,6 9,9 9,9 9,8 9,9 9,2 9,8 Mauritius 9,4 8,8 9,8 9,3 8,2 7,1 9,8 9,0 10,0 9,8 Namibia 8,6 8,6 9,2 7,8 7,6 8,3 8,8 9,3 8,7 9,0 Botswana 8,2 8,5 7,8 8,2 8,6 8,8 8,2 8,4 8,0 8,7 Swaziland 6,7 8,4 4,4 8,9 8,1 8,3 7,0 8,4 7,3 8,1 Zimbabwe 6,2 7,6 0,5 4,4 9,2 9,2 7,5 9,2 7,5 7,7 Lesotho 5,9 6,3 4,4 5,5 5,6 6,2 6,9 6,4 6,7 7,3 Tanzania 4,9 5,0 6,7 6,4 5,6 5,7 3,9 2,5 3,3 5,2 Angola 3,9 3,4 3,4 1,0 5,3 5,3 3,6 2,5 3,3 4,9 Mozambique 3,6 3,8 5,7 5,1 4,8 4,1 0,8 1,1 3,2 4,8 Madagascar Not 5,0 8,0 3,3 6,2 7,8 Not 4,5 2,0 4,6 available available Malawi Not 5,1 4,4 6,7 5,0 6,1 Not 3,3 1,1 4,4 available available Zambia Not 7,3 4,9 7,8 5,9 7,1 Not 6,7 5,3 7,7 available available Source: Knowledge assessment methodology (2007) (http://info.worldbank.org/etools/kam2/KAM_page7.asp) These trends suggest that there is not suﬃcient alignment between the ‘pillars’ of the knowledge economy – that an improved economic regime is not suﬃcient without an improved innovation and education capacity. The Knowledge Economy Index indicator further enables us to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual countries and can be useful as a diagnostic tool. For instance, in countries such as Mozambique and Tanzania, the education indicator lowers the composite index, indicating an area that requires speciﬁc policy intervention. Or in Mauritius, where the information and communication technology, education and economy indicators are strong, the relatively lower value for the innovation indicator suggests an area for attention. Our review of levels of development in the SADC countries suggests that there is a small group of four countries that stand out in terms of the relative strength of their economies and in terms of their levels of preparation for the knowledge economy: South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia. In the following section, we zoom in to focus on the ‘innovation pillar’, to analyse the research and science systems in the SADC countries. 330 1.1.3 National research systems and science and technology policy Mouton and Waast (2008) point to four trends that have shaped the fragile state of national research Study Series 2008 systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. These are the continuing legacy of colonial science, the impact of World Bank policies on funding for higher education, the ongoing role of international donor agencies in shaping the scientiﬁc agenda, and the destabilising inﬂuence of political events and civil wars. They suggest that, unlike global trends, there are currently three types of science conducted in African countries: academic research based in universities, consultancy research for international agencies, and mission-oriented research mostly for international agencies. Their meta-review led to the initial identiﬁcation of three types of African research systems, determined on a very simple basis: the scale and institutional location of activity. First, there are very small national science systems that rely on the public university as the main generator of knowledge. We have called this a single institution-focused system. Second, a small national system in which only a few public or international research institutes exist alongside one or two key public universities. Third, a medium- sized system with a wider range of scientiﬁc institutions, such as public universities, public research institutes, public-funded facilities and international agencies. We have called this a medium varied system. Drawing on the data compiled by SARUA (2008), we classiﬁed the 14 SADC countries in terms of the scope of the science system in Table 8. Those with fewer than ﬁve public research institutions are regarded as single-focused systems, and those with more than 50 public research institutions are regarded as medium varied systems. Such a classiﬁcation provides only an indication of the relative size and complexity of each national system. It does not provide an indication of its performance or capability, nor of the interactions between researchers and scientists in the diﬀerent locations. A further indication of the levels of responsiveness of a national system can be gleaned from the trajectories of development of science and technology policy in each of the countries (Table 8). Three trajectories have been identiﬁed; these mirror the trajectories of the growth of the university system (SARUA, 2008). First, some countries have experienced two waves of policy development, initially after independence and then again in the 1990s (Zimbabwe). A second trajectory is where science and technology policy has been formulated in the 1990s and after 2000: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. The third trajectory includes countries that have not yet formulated an explicit science and technology policy: Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius and Swaziland. Again, the existence of a policy framework is merely an indication of intent, of the aspirations of a national government, rather than any measure www.sarua.org of the human and ﬁnancial resources required to give eﬀect to their developmental goals. It is extremely diﬃcult to measure the capacity of the science systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, both because the traditional indicators such as accredited publications or patents are not entirely relevant to gauge the state of activity and because of the poor quality of the data available (see Diyamett and Wangwe, 2006). Table 8 provides an indication of the relative size of the scientiﬁc labour force, in a measure of full-time equivalent researchers per million of the population. This indicator suggests that 331 Mauritius, Botswana and South Africa are well positioned in their potential scientiﬁc human resources. The remainder have a very low base from which to work. This is conﬁrmed when we examine the University-Firm Interaction in the Region proportion of graduates in the science and technology ﬁelds relative to the total number of graduates. Data are not available for many cases, but Madagascar, Mauritius and Tanzania stand out as having a pipeline of graduates in the science and technology ﬁelds, although the total number of graduates ranges from around 4 000 in Mauritius and Tanzania to 6 652 in Madagascar, which is not a large pool in absolute terms. In South Africa, 16% of graduates were in the science and technology ﬁelds, and with a total number of 109 685, this represents more graduates than these three countries put together. The overall picture is not very encouraging. Table 8 Science systems in the SADC countries Scope of science Science and Size: Science and ISI indexed Average system technology full-time technology publications papers per policy equivalent graduates 2001-2007 million researchers % of total population per graduates million of population1 Botswana Single institution After 1990 139 Not available 1 062 17 focused (two public research institutions) Mauritius Single institution Not yet 150 26 358 43 focused (although two higher education institutions) Lesotho Single institution After 1990 33 4 75 5 focused (one public research institution) Swaziland Single institution Not yet 55 6 103 14 focused Angola Small varied system Not yet 8 19 90 1 (eight public research institutions) Democratic Small varied Not yet 38 Not available 245 1 Republic of system (seven the Congo public research institutions) Madagascar Small varied system Not yet 23 22 763 6 (two public research institutions) Malawi Small varied system After 1990 29 Not available 1 020 11 (20 public research institutions) 1 Extracted from Table 3 R&D Indicators SADC Countries. (SARUA 2008:18). 332 Scope of science Science and Size: Science and ISI indexed Average system technology full-time technology publications papers per policy equivalent graduates 2001-2007 million Study Series 2008 researchers % of total population per graduates million of population1 Botswana Single institution After 1990 139 Not available 1 062 17 focused (two public research institutions) Mauritius Single institution Not yet 150 26 358 43 focused (although two higher education institutions) Lesotho Single institution After 1990 33 4 75 5 focused (one public research institution) Mozambique Small varied system After 1990 38 15 401 3 (18 public research institutions) Namibia Small varied system After 1990 42 6 480 35 (ten public research institutions) Zambia Small varied system After 1990 23 Not available 776 10 (ten public research institutions) Zimbabwe Small varied system Two waves 42 Not available 1 680 20 (15 public research institutions) Tanzania Medium varied After 1990 27 21 2 408 9 system (60 public research institutions) South Africa Large varied system After 1990 135 16 38 232 124 Source: Compiled by the authors drawing on SARUA (2008) A bibliometric analysis of Africa’s share of global knowledge production has revealed a number of trends. SARUA (2008) draws on the work of Tjissen (2007) to highlight that Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen behind in that it has not increased its rate of publication in line with world growth rates. Knowledge production at a country level is highly unequal and, most signiﬁcantly, Tjissen did not ﬁnd a strong relationship between www.sarua.org levels of technological development and the level of publication output. Some small countries have large publication counts relative to their size, which he attributes to co-publications with international teams in the medical and life sciences. One such example he mentions is Mozambique. Table 8 reﬂects the absolute number of ISI-accredited papers produced per country, reﬂecting this inequality and, also, a relative measure of productivity in terms of the number of publications relative to the size of the total 333 population. With this indicator, excluding South Africa, Mauritius is ranked highest, followed by Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola ranked lowest, and University-Firm Interaction in the Region Mozambique and Lesotho slightly above them. When interpreting productivity in terms of the share of international publications, we also need to bear in mind that in SADC, where research has been foreign donor driven, it may not be available in the public realm. Publications in local and institutional journals are also potentially important for growing an indigenous research base. 1.1.4 National higher education systems in SADC In order to provide an overview of the performance and capacity of the national higher education systems in SADC, we draw on data compiled by SARUA (2008). Table 9 Universities in SADC 2004 Total Enrolment Teaching Outbound Total enrolment per capita staﬀ mobility rates graduates population (%) (%) Zimbabwe 55 689 0,45 1 100 29,9 Not available Tanzania 42 948 0,11 2 516 9,1 4 028 Madagascar 42 143 0,20 1 560 9,5 6 652 Mozambique 22 256 0,11 2 516 10,6 2 878 Mauritius 17 781 1,48 Est. 500 40,6 4 151 Botswana 13 221 0,70 791 71,6 Not available Angola 12 982 0,10 1 285 45,8 172 Namibia 11 788 0,59 898 58,1 1 981 Swaziland 6 594 0,60 328 31,9 1 026 Lesotho 6 108 0,27 545 74,3 1 319 Malawi 5 089 0,04 418 28,3 Not available Zambia* Est. 11 000 Not available 815 14,7 Not available Democratic Republic Not available Not available Not available 6,6 Not available of the Congo South Africa 717 793 1,64 43 023 0,8 109 685 Source: Compiled by the authors drawing on SARUA (2008) * Data sourced from DST country proﬁle, Centre for Research on Science and Technology 2006 334 Table 9 reﬂects data for 2004 or the nearest possible available year, ranking the countries by the size of total university enrolment. However, as Mouton and his team point out (SARUA, 2008), comparison is Study Series 2008 better facilitated by calculating the proportion of enrolments per 100 000 in the population (second column from the left). Other than South Africa, the systems in Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia are catering for a higher proportion of their populations. Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Tanzania cater for the lowest proportion of their population. While the data supplied on teaching staﬀ may not be entirely accurate, they reveal some interesting trends. For instance, Angola and Mozambique seem to be well supplied with teaching staﬀ relative to the total student enrolment, while Zimbabwe appears to be under-supplied. Figures for university graduates are incomplete, but suggest that attention needs to be paid to issues of eﬃciency and throughput, and to the small size of the total pool of graduates relative to demand for high skills in the region. Analysis of the outbound mobility rate highlights interconnections within the SADC region. The outbound mobility rate is an indicator of the proportion of students studying in other countries relative to the total student population of the country. Only South Africa has a high inbound mobility rate in the region, with 49 979 ‘foreign’ students reported in 2003. Although all of these are not from SADC, South Africa is the preferred study destination for almost all the countries in the region except for Angola and Mauritius (which nevertheless have large contingents studying in South Africa). Botswana is an interesting case, as a high 72% of students study outside the country, predominantly in South Africa, but also in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Malaysia. This is part of a concerted strategy by the government to grow its human resources capacity by sponsoring its students to study abroad, given the limited capacity of the single national university. Establishment of a second university, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology, is in the advanced planning stages (University World News, 30 March 2008), and a new tertiary education policy, entitled Towards a knowledge society, was recently approved (University World News, 8 June 2008). A high proportion of students from Lesotho, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Swaziland, study in South Africa, reﬂecting historical interconnections and relationships between the countries. Similar historical relationships are evident in the 40% of students from Mauritius who tend to study in France, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and India. A large proportion of students from Angola travel to Portugal, as language and political ties exist between these two countries. www.sarua.org South Africa’s large total enrolment must be interpreted in the light of this circulation within the region. South African universities cater for many students from SADC. This can be at the expense of the growth of national universities, but it can also be used to complement and extend capacity, as in the case of Botswana. 335 1.2 The nature of the universities in the sample University-Firm Interaction in the Region In Section 1.1 we described the level of development and of preparation for a knowledge economy between the SADC countries. We described three kinds of national science systems, most of which are focused on one or two universities, with emerging new policy frameworks. Finally, we described the ‘size and shape’ of the higher education landscape across the region. A common trend across all these indicators is that South Africa is a ‘special case’ in the region, together with a small group of more developed and better prepared countries that show better capabilities than the rest; this group comprises Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia. It is not as easy to discern clear trends amongst the other ten countries, as they have diﬀerent strengths and weaknesses, varying in relation to one another depending on the variable one would use to distinguish between them. Nevertheless, we broadly outlined the contours of the systems. In Section 1.2 we describe the speciﬁc universities in our sample, against this background. 1.2.1 Patterns of establishment The age of a university is a signiﬁcant indicator. Is the university relatively established? Was it established in the 1960s as part of national independence imperatives, or was it established more recently, as part of renewed attempts to build the university sector in the context of a knowledge economy? Table 10 Date of establishment of universities in the sample Country 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s Botswana 1 Democratic 1 Republic of the Congo Madagascar 3 1 Malawi 1 1 Mauritius 1 1 Mozambique 1 1 1 Swaziland 1 Tanzania 2 2 Zambia 1 Zimbabwe 1 3 1 TOTAL 1 3 5 5 7 3 Source: HSRC database 336 Table 10 shows that the universities in our sample are very young, with the majority established in the 1980s and onwards. Zimbabwe and Tanzania in particular have engaged in a process of establishing Study Series 2008 new institutions. Some countries created new universities in order to distribute sites of delivery more equitably across the country or in new development regions; this is the case with the Copperbelt University in Zambia. This implies that research and postgraduate studies are not likely to have had time to mature in many of these universities. It is likely that they are still in the process of establishing a research culture. 1.2.2 Location and sites of delivery Table 11 describes the number of campuses and the faculties in each university in the sample. What is most strongly evident is a trend for universities to establish multiple campuses to expand their reach and open access. The Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique has eleven campuses, and the Open University in Tanzania has 25. There is a shift away from the capital and urban centres to create campuses in more rural and isolated locations. An accompanying trend is to specialise and create new niche areas in some locations related to regional priorities. Table 11 Number of sites of delivery and reach Agricultural/environmental Distance education No. of campuses Engineering Commerce Technical Science Health Country and Arts Law university Botswana University of Botswana 2 x x x x Democratic Republic of the Congo Universite de Goma 3 x x x x Madagascar University of Fianarantsoa 1 x x x x x x x www.sarua.org Universite D‘Antsiranana 6 x x x x x Universite de Toliara 5 x x x x x Malawi University of Malawi 5 Mzuzu University 1 x x x x x 337 University-Firm Interaction in the Region Agricultural/environmental Distance education No. of campuses Engineering Commerce Technical Science Health Country and Arts Law university Mauritius University of Mauritius 1 x x x x University of Technology 3 x x x x x x Mozambique Eduardo Mondlane 11 x x University Universidade Pedagogica 7 x x x x x x Lurio University 1 x x x x x x x x Swaziland University of Swaziland 3 x x x Tanzania University of Dar es 5 x x Salaam The Open University 25 x x x x x of Tanzania Sokoine University 3 x x x x x x x of Agriculture Zambia The Copperbelt 5 x x x x x University Zimbabwe Bindura University 2 x x x x x x x x of Science Midlands State University 1 x x x x National University of 2 x x x x x Science and Technology University of Zimbabwe 3 x x Zimbabwe Open 10 x x x x x x University Total 16 9 16 18 10 9 12 2 Source: HSRC database 338 1.2.3 Faculty structures Table 11 reﬂects the faculty structures. The majority of universities have science, arts and commerce Study Series 2008 faculties. Only nine universities have law faculties and these tend to be the established universities. Likewise with engineering faculties, except for those specialised new universities such as the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. In terms of the spread of faculties within a university, only three established institutions, namely Eduardo Mondlane, Dar es Salaam and University of Zimbabwe, have a full range of seven traditional faculties. Another group has about four or ﬁve faculties each. What stands out is the number of specialised institutions with only one to three faculties. Bindura University of Science in Zimbabwe focuses on science, and Lurio University in Mozambique focuses on health, while Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania focuses on science and agriculture. The question of whether these are in fact a distinct type of higher education institution that oﬀers education and training in relation to speciﬁc professions and ﬁelds, as opposed to fully ﬂedged universities, is thus pertinent. 1.2.4 Size and staﬀ Institutions vary in size and hence in the scale of the demands with which they are engaging and the staﬀ complement to deal with the demand. 18.104.22.168 Student enrolment Table 12 presents the undergraduate and postgraduate student enrolment as reported by the institutions for 2008. Data inaccuracies mean that we have not included all the cases in the sample. Table 12 Student enrolment in SADC universities Undergraduate Postgraduate Lurio University 254 0 Bindura University of Science 297 29 Mzuzu University 1 392 24 Universite D‘Antsiranana 1 469 54 Sokoine University of Agriculture 1 483 570 University of Fianarantsoa 3 489 665 www.sarua.org Universite de Toliara 3 601 207 The Copperbelt University 3 996 159 Universite de Goma 4 522 36 National University of Science and Technology 4 562 654 University of Swaziland 5 647 47 University of Mauritius 6 100 904 339 Undergraduate Postgraduate University-Firm Interaction in the Region University of Malawi 6 260 80 The Open University of Tanzania 8 233 514 University of Zimbabwe 9 474 1 772 Midlands State University 9 602 429 Eduardo Mondlane University 13 969 423 University of Botswana 14 446 1 029 Zimbabwe Open University 17 321 2 405 University of Dar es Salaam 18 835 1 099 Universidade Pedagogica 31 695 145 Source: HSRC database The data are presented in ascending order, showing that the smallest university is the new university of Lurio in Mozambique, and the largest, the Universidade Pedagogica in Mozambique. Only ﬁve universities have more than 10 000 students, while 10 have fewer than 5 000. Undergraduate enrolments far outweigh postgraduate enrolments for the most part. At the largest university, Universidade Pedagogica, postgraduate enrolments are a negligible proportion of the total. Postgraduate enrolments are increasingly an indication of a university’s maturity and research capability. Of interest is a university such as Sokoine University of Agriculture, where postgraduate enrolment represents 27% of the total enrolment, the majority in the Faculty of Science and the remainder in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science. Fianarantsoa and Zimbabwe similarly report postgraduates as 16% of total enrolments. The largest total postgraduate enrolment is the Zimbabwe Open University (majority in Commerce, remainder in Arts). 22.214.171.124 Staﬀ complement We begin with the range of size of the staﬀ complements and the average size (Table 13). Here it is important to distinguish the number of staﬀ members with PhDs. Table 13 Academic staﬀ in the SADC universities 2007/8 University Staﬀ with PhD % staﬀ with PhD Staﬀ total Zimbabwe Open University 9 30 30 Lurio University 7 17 41 Bindura University of Science 1 2 46 Mzuzu University 12 19 64 Universite D‘Antsiranana 37 55 67 University of Fianarantsoa 40 50 80 Universite de Toliara 70 64 109 National University of Science and Technology 30 16 185 340 University Staﬀ with PhD % staﬀ with PhD Staﬀ total Study Series 2008 The Copperbelt University 28 15 193 Universite de Goma 69 34 203 The Open University of Tanzania 54 26 208 University of Swaziland 129 53 245 University of Mauritius 104 41 252 Midlands State University 7 2 370 University of Botswana 134 21 650 University of Zimbabwe 163 24 692 University of Dar es Salaam 538 47 1 142 Universidade Pedagogica 81 7 1 177 Eduardo Mondlane University Not available Not available Not available University of Malawi Not available Not available Not available University of Technology Mauritius Not available Not available Not available Sokoine University of Agriculture Not available Not available Not available Source: HSRC database The smallest staﬀ complement is the distance education institution the Zimbabwe Open University – and note their large student body – while the largest is the Universidade Pedagogica with 1 177 teaching staﬀ. We asked universities to indicate the number of staﬀ with PhDs and calculated the proportion of staﬀ with PhDs relative to the total number of teaching staﬀ. Here the range is from 2% at two of the new Zimbabwean universities, to 50 to 65% at the Madagascan universities. We will discuss the implications of these trends for ﬁrm interaction further in Part 3. 1.2.5 Prioritisation of staﬀ time An indication of the changing nature of the universities is their prioritisation of staﬀ time – do universities expect staﬀ to spend more time on teaching or research, or outreach or administrative activities? In Table 14 we record the number and proportion of universities that indicated the amount of time ideally allocated to each university activity. The intervals on the scale were informed by the responses, in an attempt to reﬂect the extremes recorded at both ends. So, for instance, six universities, 28% of the sample, claim that staﬀ should be spending between 56 and 75% of their time on teaching, and indeed, teaching remains the single most important activity in terms of allocation of time overall. The time allocated for research is evenly spread in a range from less than 5 to 55%, with the majority www.sarua.org of universities allocating less than 35% of staﬀ time. 341 Table 14 Prioritisation of staﬀ time Activity 0-5% 6-15% 16-25% 26-35% 36-55% 56-75% 75-85% 85+% University-Firm Interaction in the Region Teaching - - 3 4 7 6 - 1 (14,3%) (19,0%) (33,3%) (28,6%) (4,8%) Research 1 5 6 7 2 - - - (4,8%) (23,8%) (28,6%) (33,3%) (9,5%) Extension and 8 11 1 - - - - - outreach (40,0%) (55,0%) (5,0%) Interaction with ﬁrms 14 6 1 - - - - - (66,7%) (28,6%) (4,8%) Social/community 13 8 - - - - - - service (61,9%) (38,1%) Administration 13 5 2 - 1 - - - (61,9%) (23,8%) (9,5%) (4,8%) Source: HSRC database There is very little time allocated for interaction with ﬁrms, or social and community service, and even for administration, with less than 5% allocated in almost two-thirds of the universities in the sample. There is relatively more attention paid to the more traditional forms of extension and outreach. In general, then, these responses suggest universities with a strong focus on teaching, with less than a third of academic time spent on research for the most part and minimal time on other activities. 1.2.6 Research centres and institutes Identiﬁable research centres and institutes are often important facilitators of university-ﬁrm interaction. Table 15 provides a description of the features of a selection of these units. Table 15 Examples of university research centres and units Country University Name Faculty Campus Staﬀ size Democratic Universite Kivu Medical Medicine Hospital 15 Republic of de Goma the Congo Malawi Mzuzu University Technology Centre Environmental Luwinga 4 for Renewable Sciences Energy Malawi University Centre for Development Bunda, Lilongwe 10 of Malawi Agricultural Studies Research and Development Mauritius University Centre for Applied Research, Main Campus 5 of Mauritius Social Research Consultancy and Innovation Oﬃce 342 Country University Name Faculty Campus Staﬀ size Study Series 2008 Mozambique Eduardo Mondlane Pathology Centre Medicine Medical Campus 1 University Tanzania Sokoine University Veterinary Faculty of Main Campus 80 of Agriculture Medicine and Veterinary Public Health Medicine Zimbabwe National University Gene Studies in Applied Sciences Main Campus 8 of Science and Sorghum Technology Source: HSRC database 1.2.7 Research performance Interaction with ﬁrms is facilitated particularly where a university has research capability. To assess research performance, we included three measures – the reported number of projects, publications and patents. The data on projects were highly variable and not reliable; hence we used them for illustrative purposes only. 126.96.36.199 Patents Table 16 reﬂects research performance across the sample. The most striking trend evident is that the total number of patent applications and patents awarded is absolutely negligible in the 13 SADC countries. Table 16 Research performance Total Mean Median International journals (N = 18) 1 561 86,7 34,0 Local journals (N = 16) 271 16,9 14,0 Institutional (N = 19) 252 13,3 5,0 Patent applications (N = 16) 6 Not available Not available Patent awarded (N = 16) 2 Not available Not available Patent licences (N = 16) 3 Not available Not available Source: HSRC database 188.8.131.52 Accredited publications Table 16 suggests that there is a degree of research productivity amongst the 13 SADC universities, and www.sarua.org they are publishing in international rather than local or institutional journals. This is self-reported data and needs to be interpreted against the fact that the total number of ISI-accredited publications across the 13 SADC countries between 2001 and 2007 was 9 462 (SARUA, 2008:33). The annual average was 106,2 publications per country, ranging from Lesotho with eleven ISI-accredited publications to Tanzania with 344. However, Table 8 shows that Tanzania is ranked only ninth if we use a measure of productivity, namely, average papers per million of population. 343 Of the 18 universities who reported data, the average number of international journal publications was 86,7, but the median was 34, suggesting that a small number of institutions are publishing in higher University-Firm Interaction in the Region numbers, while the output of the majority is more modest. This 86,7 is lower than the annual SADC average, suggesting that our sample does not include all the ‘research performers’ in the region. 1.2.8 Institutional support and facilitation We asked for an indication of whether the university has developed the policies and structures that universities in South Africa and other developing countries such as Brazil and India have typically developed in order to support interaction with industry. We can describe whether a university has such features or not, but of course this is no indication of how well it functions. Table 17 provides an encouraging picture of the foundation for building university research systems. The vast majority of the universities reported that they have a formal research policy and strategic policy in place, and almost 82% have established a research oﬃce to co-ordinate activity. With regard to information and communication technology, which has received a great deal of support and attention from donor agencies, the situation too seems encouraging. Table 17 Institutional policies and structures Percentage Percentage yes no Strategic policy 90,9 4,5 Research policy 86,4 9,1 Information and communication technology centre or unit 86,4 - Research oﬃce 81,8 13,6 Information and communication technology policy 77,3 9,1 Contracts oﬃce 45,5 50,0 Extension oﬃce 45,5 50,0 Intellectual property rights policy 36,4 59,1 Small business incubator 31,8 63,6 Technology transfer oﬃce 27,3 68,2 Science park 18,2 77,3 Innovation oﬃce 13,6 81,8 Source: HSRC database However, there are very few universities that have intellectual property rights policies and even fewer have new organisational structures – such as a technology transfer oﬃce – to support interaction or structures to support commercialisation of university research. This is an important contextual feature to inform future interventions. 344 Part 2: University collaboration and interaction Study Series 2008 in 13 SADC countries 2.1 Collaboration and partners The core of this project is to describe the existing state of interaction between universities and ﬁrms in order to inform strategic interventions. What is critical is to avoid imposing the experience of developed countries, and investigating ‘what should be’ instead of ‘what is’. Hence, a ﬁrst step is to establish the levels of interaction in general. This we attempt to do by establishing the nature of collaboration in general. With whom does each university have links and collaborate in any manner? Describing patterns of collaboration can reﬂect the general interactive capability of an institution. We have attempted to ascertain the following: • Is there collaboration with universities, and if yes, is it at the local, regional or global level? • Is there collaboration with the government, at local or national level? • Is there collaboration with non-governmental organisations, at national or global level? • Is there collaboration with research institutes, whether public or private? • Is there collaboration with regional organisations of diﬀerent kinds? We are able to assess two dimensions – the extent to which such collaboration exists and the importance that should ideally be attached to such collaboration. 2.1.1 Universities and research institutes Table 18 summarises the university ratings for collaboration with potential university and research partners, and provides an average that indicates the general trend across the universities. Table 18 Collaboration with universities, science councils and academic organisations Extent of collaboration Importance of collaboration 1 2 3 4 Average 1 2 3 4 Average Local 4,8% 9,5% 28,6% 57,1% 3,4 5,0% 15,0% 15,0% 65,0% 3,4 www.sarua.org universities Sub-Saharan 9,5% 38,1% 33,3% 19,0% 2,6 - 26,3% 26,3% 47,4% 3,2 African universities International 9,6% 66,6% 19,1% 4,8% 2,7 5,0% 10,0% 50,0% 35,0% 3,0 universities 345 Extent of collaboration Importance of collaboration University-Firm Interaction in the Region 1 2 3 4 Average 1 2 3 4 Average Public - 40,0% 30,0% 30,0% 2,9 - 16,7% 27,8% 55,6% 3,4 research institutions Private 30,0% 40,0% 25,0% 5,0% 2,1 - 41,2% 5,9% 52,9% 3,1 research institutions NEPAD 65,0% 30,0% - 5,0% 1,5 28,6% 14,3% 14,3% 42,9% 2,7 science and technology initiatives Sub-Saharan 57,9% 31,6% 5,3% 5,3% 1,6 20,0% 13,3% 26,7% 40,0% 2,9 African academic associations Source: HSRC database Note: Extent of collaboration: 1 = not at all, 2 = isolated instances, 3 = on a moderate scale, 4 = on a wide scale; Importance of collaboration: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = moderately important, 4 = very important It is evident that currently the most signiﬁcant form of collaboration is between local universities, both in terms of the spread and the average. It is present far more strongly than any other kind of collaboration, from a moderate to a wide scale. This is positive for developing national collaboration and sharing academic expertise. However, note that there are national systems in SADC in which there is only a single university. Collaboration with universities in Sub-Saharan Africa ranges from isolated instances to collaboration on a moderate scale, while collaboration with foreign universities tends to take place in isolated instances. This suggests an important area for intervention in terms of sharing of expertise and capacity-building. The second most common form of collaboration is with public research institutions, an encouraging trend. Here we need to bear in mind that some countries have very small numbers of public research institutions and a few have none at all. There is very little collaboration with private research institutions and we do not know their scale in the SADC countries. The data suggest that Sub-Saharan academic institutions and NEPAD science and technology initiatives do not have a signiﬁcant reach, as they either involve the SADC universities in isolated instances or not at all. In terms of the importance of university collaboration partners, the pattern remains the same in terms of ranking order. On average, local universities are rated exactly the same in importance as they are on their reported levels of collaboration, but more institutions rate local universities as very important. 346 For the rest, the importance is rated more highly than the reported extent of collaboration. Of note is that the attitude towards private research institutions as collaborative partners is completely divided: Study Series 2008 41,2% rated them as slightly important, while 52,9% rated them as very important. Sub-Saharan academic associations are rated slightly more important than NEPAD initiatives, but 28% of the sample rated NEPAD initiatives as not important at all. There are many current calls for building regional centres of research expertise and competence. The high levels of existing collaboration with local universities and the importance accorded to universities and public research institutes provide a base for such processes, but the lower levels of collaboration across the region and the lack of importance accorded to regional initiatives suggest that active intervention will be required to foster higher levels of regional collaboration. 2.1.2 Collaboration with public and development organisations The current state of relationships with government and other development organisations is summarised in Table 19. Table 19 Collaboration with public and development organisations Extent of collaboration Importance of collaboration 1 2 3 4 Average 1 2 3 4 Average National 10,0% 15,0% 40,0% 35,0% 3,0 - 16,7% 27,8% 55,6% 3,4 government Regional 10,0% 20,0% 45,0% 25,0% 2,9 5,6% 11,1% 27,8% 55,6% 3,3 government Community 15,0% 15,0% 40,0% 30,0% 2,9 11,1% 16,7% 16,7% 55,6% 3,2 organisations Local non- 15,0% 20,0% 40,0% 25,0% 2,8 5,6% 16,7% 33,3% 44,4% 3,2 government organisations International 19,0% 33,3% 33,3% 14,3% 2,4 11,1% 5,6% 44,4% 38,9% 3,1 non- government organisations Agricultural 57,9% 15,8% 21,1% 5,3% 1,7 20,0% 6,7% 33,3% 40,0% 2,9 organisations www.sarua.org Source: HSRC database Note: Extent of collaboration: 1 = not at all, 2 = isolated instances, 3 = on a moderate scale, 4 = on a wide scale; Importance of collaboration: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = moderately important, 4 = very important 347 It is striking that the extent of collaboration does not exist on as wide a scale as with local universities, but collaboration on a moderate scale exists with a wider range of partners – national government, University-Firm Interaction in the Region regional government, community organisations and local non-governmental organisations. This is potentially important for universities’ roles in support of local development. The fact that there are only isolated instances of collaboration with agricultural organisations – and that 20% of the sample did not rate them as important partners – identiﬁes a potential gap for university research in terms of key development issues such as food security and knowledge intensiﬁcation of resource-based industries such as food processing. This trend may be related to the location of many universities in the urban areas, mainly in capital cities; this trend is shifting in countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Again, the importance of such collaboration is recognised to be far stronger than what already exists, with the majority of public partners rated as moderately to very important. More than 55% of the sample rated national and regional government and community organisations as very important. These trends are potentially important for developing national science and technology and research systems, on which interaction with ﬁrms depends. 2.2 The existence of diﬀerent types of relationships with ﬁrms At the core of the project is the attempt to determine the scale of existing interaction with ﬁrms. Table 20 describes the existence and importance attached to a wide range of forms of university-ﬁrm interaction found in other countries, to assess the most common practices found in the 13 SADC countries. In comparison with reported collaboration with universities, research institutes, government and development organisations, the existence of all the forms of interaction with ﬁrms is low, with an average range of 1,6 to 2,9. For the most part, interactions exist in isolated instances. Those forms of interaction that are tending towards a moderate scale are the education of work-ready students, an average rating of 2,9, but with 47,4% of the sample reporting this relationship exists on a wide scale. Consultancy is the next most common, rated on average 2,8, but with a more even spread in the sample in terms of the scale of existence. In terms of innovation, the picture is bleak. Sixty percent of the sample reported that they are not involved in technology transfer at all, and 45% that they are not involved at all with research and 348 development for ﬁrm innovation. Research and development, whether long term or short term, exists only in isolated instances. Information and communication technology capacity is particularly Study Series 2008 signiﬁcant for African development, but 52,4% of the sample were not involved at all in software development or design. Again, in contrast to the reported existence, the importance of most forms of ﬁrm interaction is recognised to be moderately to very important. Perhaps reﬂecting ﬁnancial imperatives, donations and sponsorship are rated very highly. Consultancy, technical evaluation (usually a form of consultancy) and research and development-focused interactions are rated at similar levels. That is, universities recognise that these forms of interaction are important, even if they are not engaging in them on a signiﬁcant scale at present. Of concern is that software development and agricultural services, two potentially critical areas, are seen as least important. Similarly, if universities do not have engineering faculties, they are unlikely to promote engineering services or design and prototyping services, another sectoral niche area that has proved to be important elsewhere. In general, the existing scale and pattern of interactions across SADC is very limited, but there is a more positive evaluation of the potential importance of such interaction. Table 20 Types of relationships with ﬁrms Extent of collaboration Importance of collaboration 1 2 3 4 Average 1 2 3 4 Average Donations 19,0% 57,1% 19,0% 4,8% 2,1 5,3% 15,8% 15,8% 63,2% 3,4 Sponsorship 9,5% 57,1% 28,6% 4,8% 2,3 - 26,3% 31,6% 42,1% 3,2 of bursaries Education of 21,1% 15,8% 15,8% 47,4% 2,9 15,8% 10,5% 21,1% 52,6% 3,1 work-ready students Training 14,3% 47,6% 28,6% 9,5% 2,3 10,5% 15,8% 36,8% 36,8% 3,0 courses for ﬁrms’ employees Testing of 30,0% 50,0% 20,0% - 1,9 20,0% 30,0% 10,0% 40,0% 2,7 equipment Technical 9,5% 47,6% 19,0% 23,8% 2,6 10,0% 15,0% 25,0% 50,0% 3,2 www.sarua.org evaluation and feasibility studies Project 10,0% 50,0% 30,0% 10,0% 2,4 5,3% 42,1% 21,1% 31,6% 2,8 management services Design and 29,4% 41,2% 23,5% 5,9% 2,1 11,8% 29,4% 29,4% 29,4% 2,8 prototyping 349 Extent of collaboration Importance of collaboration University-Firm Interaction in the Region 1 2 3 4 Average 1 2 3 4 Average Agricultural 45,0% 15,0% 25,0% 15,0% 2,1 27,8% 16,7% 11,1% 44,4% 2,7 advice services Engineering 40,0% 30,0% 25,0% 5,0% 2,0 16,7% 22,2% 27,8% 33,3% 2,8 services Software 52,4% 19,0% 14,3% 14,3% 1,9 21,1% 21,1% 31,6% 26,3% 2,6 development or adaptation Consultancy 9,5% 28,6% 33,3% 28,6% 2,8 5,0% 10,0% 25,0% 60,0% 3,4 Personnel 28,6% 42,9% 14,3% 14,3% 2,1 15,0% 30,0% 20,0% 35,0% 2,8 exchanges Technology 60,0% 25,0% 10,0% 5,0% 1,6 16,7% 16,7% 22,2% 44,4% 2,9 transfer Short-term 19,0% 61,9% 9,5% 9,5% 2,1 - 31,6% 15,8% 52,6% 3,2 research and development Long-term 30,0% 50,0% 15,0% 5,0% 2,0 5,9% 23,5% 17,6% 52,9% 3,2 research and development Research and 45,0% 45,0% 5,0% 5,0% 1,7 11,1% 16,7% 22,2% 50,0% 3,1 development for ﬁrm innovation Source: HSRC database Note: Extent of collaboration: 1 = not at all, 2 = isolated instances, 3 = on a moderate scale, 4 = on a wide scale; Importance of collaboration: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = important, 4 = very important 2.3 Channels of communication Linked to the types of interrelationships are the main channels for sharing information and knowledge between university and ﬁrms. Studies in other contexts suggest that those channels that are most available in the public domain are the most common (Cohen, Nelson and Walsh, 2002; Adeoti, 2007). Table 21 presents the patterns of importance in the SADC case. 350 Table 21 Channels of communication with ﬁrms Importance (%) Study Series 2008 1 2 3 4 Average Public conferences and meetings - 9,5 23,8 66,7 3,6 Recent graduates hired by ﬁrms - 14,3 42,9 42,9 3,3 Research contracts 14,3 14,3 42,9 28,6 2,9 Spin-oﬀ ﬁrms from the university 38,1 23,8 19,0 19,0 2,2 Engagement in networks with ﬁrms 23,8 33,3 23,8 19,0 2,4 Incubators 38,1 28,6 9,5 23,8 2,2 Publications and reports 9,5 14,3 28,6 47,6 3,1 Temporary personnel exchange 19,0 28,6 47,6 4,8 2,4 Licensed technology 47,6 14,3 19,0 19,0 2,1 Science and/or technology parks 38,1 23,8 14,3 23,8 2,2 Patents 57,1 9,5 9,5 23,8 2,0 Research and development co-operative projects 5,0 40,0 25,0 30,0 2,8 Training for ﬁrms’ employees 14,3 19,0 42,9 23,8 2,8 Informal information exchange 9,5 28,6 33,3 28,6 2,8 Individual consulting - 28,6 38,1 33,3 3,1 Source: HSRC database Note: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = moderately important, 4 = very important Here too, the channels that are most freely available in the public domain are rated as very important – 66,7% of the sample rated public conferences and meetings as a very important channel of communication. Those rated between moderately and very important are recent graduates hired by ﬁrms, a tacit channel of communication; publications and reports that are available freely in the public domain; and individual consulting, which requires a degree of direct engagement between the ﬁrm and the academic. Of interest is that 30% of the sample view research and development co-operative projects as very important, as do 28,6% with informal information exchange The channels that are regarded as not important are those related to the new commercialisation role of universities in the developed world – patents (57,1% see patents as not important), incubators (38,1%), spin-oﬀ ﬁrms (38,1%), licensed technology (47,6%) and science or technology parks (38,1%). www.sarua.org Understanding these trends is signiﬁcant when considering interventions that can build on existing strengths and practices. 351 2.4 Outcomes of interaction University-Firm Interaction in the Region The universities’ assessment of the importance of various outcomes of interaction with ﬁrms in their institution is the focus of this section. We can distinguish between more traditional university outcomes and those that display a new responsiveness to economic and social development. Table 22 Outcomes of interaction with ﬁrms Importance (%) 1 2 3 4 Average Human resource development - 10,0 20,0 70,0 3,6 Graduates 5,0 15,0 25,0 55,0 3,3 Scientiﬁc discoveries 20,0 20,0 25,0 35,0 2,8 New research projects - 35,0 20,0 45,0 3,1 Dissertations 5,0 25,0 35,0 35,0 3,0 Publications - 31,6 26,3 42,1 3,1 New products and artifacts 25,0 5,0 40,0 30,0 2,8 Patents 36,8 21,1 5,3 36,8 2,4 Software 26,3 10,5 31,6 31,6 2,7 New designs 10,5 31,6 15,8 42,1 2,9 University-based spin-oﬀs 33,3 16,7 16,7 33,3 2,5 New agricultural processes 36,8 10,5 15,8 36,8 2,5 New industrial processes 15,8 31,6 21,1 31,6 2,7 Improvement of agricultural products 33,3 5,6 22,2 38,9 2,7 Improvement of agricultural processes 35,0 10,0 20,0 35,0 2,6 Improvement of industrial products 21,1 26,3 21,1 31,6 2,6 Improvement of industrial processes 21,1 15,8 26,3 36,8 2,8 Source: HSRC database Note: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = moderately important, 4 = very important In line with trends in the forms of interaction and main channels of communication, the more traditional university products are rated as the important outcomes of interaction with ﬁrms: human resource development and graduates, followed by publications, new research projects and dissertations. This represents the current state of aﬀairs. Very few products that contribute to the ﬁrm or to innovation – whether of product or process, whether incremental or radical – are seen as moderately important. These new kinds of outcomes 352 are seen as only slightly important to moderately important. About a third of the sample rates all the agriculture-related outcomes as not important. Study Series 2008 This suggests clearly that ﬁrm interaction is having little impact on universities. There are few outcomes other than the traditional results of university activity. 2.5 Features of university units that interact with ﬁrms What then does the small scale of interaction between SADC universities and ﬁrms typically look like, and where it does exist? Selected data elicited through a series of open-ended questions about the university units engaged in interaction with ﬁrms are presented in Table 23 in a qualitative and anecdotal manner, to illustrate the kinds of interaction in relation to speciﬁc academic disciplines. Table 23 Examples of university-ﬁrm interaction in selected countries Country University Academic department/ Example of institutional centre/research institute research contribution Botswana University of Faculty of Engineering Developing material for glass Botswana making Department of Environmental Doing environmental impact Science assessments, geographic information systems Department of Computing Developing new software Services processes Department of Sociology Baseline studies Democratic Universite de Goma Faculty of Economics Students to ﬁrms for Republic of internships the Congo Faculty of Social Science Students to ﬁrms for internships Malawi University of Malawi Centre for Agricultural Knowledge, know-how, Research Development project evaluations Malawi Mzuzu University Department of Energy Studies, Work with government and Technology Centre for the private sector Renewable Energy www.sarua.org Mauritius University of Consultancy and Contract Contract research, technology Mauritius Research Centre transfer 353 Country University Academic department/ Example of institutional centre/research institute research contribution University-Firm Interaction in the Region Zimbabwe National University Department of Applied Chemical analytical services of Science and Chemistry Technology Department of Chemical Research and development in Engineering the manufacturing sector Department of Applied Biology Analysis and research and and Biochemistry development services Department of Manufacturing Fabrications and installations Engineering Technopark Technology transfer Department of Computer Science National IT policy Source: HSRC database 2.6 Features of ﬁrms that interact with universities Table 24 describes features of ﬁrms with which some universities interact, for illustrative purposes. Table 24 Examples of ﬁrms universities interact with Country University Main type of Age of Number Sector Duration relationship ﬁrm of em- (months) (years) ployees Botswana University of Consultancy 50 500 Mining Not stated Botswana Malawi University of Malawi Agricultural 10 100 Agriculture 12 services Zimbabwe National University Consultancy 50+ +/- 1 400 Mining and 36 of Science and coking Technology Research and 28+ +/- 48 Manufacturing 24 development Research and 3 +/- 135 Mining and 36 development, manufacturing technology transfer Training 30+/- +/- 92 Manufacturing 24 Source: HSRC database It is not possible to identify trends as the data are uneven and were not provided by many of the universities. As Table 24 highlights, diﬀerent kinds of relationships found in distinct academic disciplines, so too the data here highlight the diﬀerent kinds of relationships found between universities and ﬁrms in speciﬁc industrial sectors. The data reinforce the importance of understanding the nature of demand for research and development and innovation in distinct sectors, to inform university interventions. 354 Part 3: Identifying patterns of interaction Study Series 2008 3.1 Aggregating and distinguishing trends One problematic tendency in many policy texts and much research on Sub-Saharan Africa is the tendency to homogenise, to discuss the problems or challenges of Africa or of Sub-Saharan Africa and then to propose generalised solutions, programmes or interventions for the entire region. Without taking account of the speciﬁc features of particular countries or groups of countries with similar experiences, it is diﬃcult to develop interventions that may make a diﬀerence. As a ﬁrst step, in Part 2 we analysed the aggregated patterns of interaction across the SADC universities in 13 countries and identiﬁed a number of trends that are potentially signiﬁcant: • Collaboration between local universities exists most strongly, on a moderate to wide scale, and there is an encouraging scale of collaboration with public research institutions, although there are not many public research institutions in each country. • Collaboration on a moderate scale exists with a wide range of public sector and development partners – national government, regional government, community organisations and local non-governmental organisations – potentially important for universities’ roles in support of local development. • The existence of all forms of interaction with ﬁrms is low and, for the most part, interactions exist on a small scale. • Those forms of interaction tending towards a moderate scale are the education of work-ready students, related to the core teaching role of most universities, as well as consultancy. • The importance of collaboration and interaction with ﬁrms is recognised positively, suggesting the potential for being far stronger than what exists in practice. • The channels of communication with ﬁrms that are most freely available in the public domain, informal and tacit, are most important. • There are few outcomes of interaction with ﬁrms other than the traditional results of university activity. Part 6 will consider how understanding these aggregated trends can inform SARUA interventions in the region. Understanding these aggregate trends across the region was only a ﬁrst step. www.sarua.org What we also need is a more nuanced insight into the trends. Even though the scale of interaction is small across the SADC countries, which universities stand out in terms of relatively more intensive, formal or direct forms of interaction with ﬁrms? Which universities remain more ﬁrmly entrenched in traditional forms of operation? Which universities do not have the capacity to engage? 355 In this section, therefore, analysis will ﬁrst take the form of identifying groupings of universities in terms of the extent of the relationships they have with ﬁrms, albeit on a small scale across the sample. University-Firm Interaction in the Region Second, we investigate what distinguishes these groups of universities from one another. It is only possible to do this in terms of their proﬁles and the following features: • their age/length of establishment; • their size; • their research policy and structures; • their research performance; and • their orientation. 3.2 A measure of existence of relationships with ﬁrms Table 25 provides a new composite measure of overall existence of a university’s relationship with ﬁrms. Principal component analysis was used to obtain the factor loadings of each item, and the composite measure was developed using those factor loadings. The formula used is the sum of the factor loading per item multiplied by the responses per item, divided by the total number of items. Using this composite measure, we ﬁrst identiﬁed two groups of universities: those who report the existence of all the forms of interaction with ﬁrms on a ‘moderate scale’ (mean score above 2), and those who report the existence of all the forms only on a ‘small scale’ (mean score below 2). Note that this scale is contextually deﬁned in terms of the 13 SADC countries only. We then further distinguished the group of those with ‘a small scale’ of interaction into two sub- groups – those with ‘small scale’ of interaction (mean score between 1,5 and 1,9) and those with ‘isolated instances’ of interaction (below 1,5). The three groups are shaded for ease of identiﬁcation, and a proﬁle of each will be presented in the following sections. Table 25 Overall measure: existence of relationships with ﬁrms University Moderate Small scale Isolated Mean score scale instances National University of Science 1 0 0 2,9 and Technology Open University of Tanzania 1 0 0 2,7 Eduardo Mondlane University 1 0 2,2 University of Technology, Mauritius 1 0 0 2 University of Dar es Salaam 0 1 0 1,9 University of Mauritius 0 1 0 1,9 Universite de Toliara 0 1 0 1,8 356 University Moderate scale Small scale Isolated Mean score instances Study Series 2008 Harare Institute of Technology 0 1 0 1,7 University of Malawi 0 1 0 1,7 Midlands State University 0 1 0 1,5 University of Botswana 0 1 0 1,5 Mzuzu University 0 0 1 1,4 University of Swaziland 0 0 1 1,4 Universite Antananarivo 0 0 1 1,4 Universite D‘Antsiranana 0 0 1 1,3 Lurio University 0 0 1 1,2 Muhimbili University of Health 0 0 1 1,2 and Allied Sciences Zimbabwe Open University 0 0 1 1,2 Universite de Goma 0 0 1 1,1 University of Fianarantsoa 0 0 1 0,8 Total 4 7 9 Source: HSRC database 3.3 Features of the four universities with moderate interaction The four universities with a moderate scale of interaction are Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique, the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe, the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) and the University of Technology, Mauritius (UTM). In this section we discuss their features and characteristics. Table 26 Age and structure of universities with moderate interaction Year established Faculties Eduardo Mondlane, 1962 13 faculties Mozambique 2003 to 2008 new Agronomy and forestry engineering, architecture and campuses/schools based physical planning, sciences, law, coastal and marine in provinces science, economics, education, engineering, hotel and tourism, arts and social sciences, medicine, veterinary, arts and communication www.sarua.org National University 1991 Six faculties of Science and 2005 Faculty of Medicine, Applied sciences, built environment, commerce, Technology, separate campus communication and information science, industrial Zimbabwe engineering, medicine Open University, 1995 to 2005 Five faculties Tanzania 25 regional centres Arts and social sciences; business management; science, technology and environmental studies; law; education 357 Year established Faculties University-Firm Interaction in the Region University of 2001 Three schools Technology, Mauritius Business informatics and software engineering, public sector policy and management, sustainable development science Source: HSRC database 3.3.1 Brief proﬁles Table 26 reﬂects that, aside from Eduardo Mondlane, these are very young universities, established in the past decade. Eduardo Mondlane undertook a cognate major process of expansion and refocus during the last decade to reconstruct after an extended period of civil war. Eduardo Mondlane oﬀers a wide range of academic disciplines and ﬁelds, organised in 13 faculties. The other three universities tend to focus on a limited range of niche areas. The University of Technology in Mauritius and National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe have the clearest focus in science and technology niche areas related to local development needs, and they are not traditional universities. Eduardo Mondlane is the largest and oldest university in this group, with an enrolment of 13 969 undergraduate and 423 postgraduate students in 2006, taught by a total of 202 academic staﬀ members. The largest enrolments are in arts and social sciences (2 835), sciences (2 510) and engineering (2 059). The Hotel and Tourism School was founded in 2003 in Inhambane Province, and its enrolment was 237 in 2006. Faculties of medicine and veterinary science were founded at Eduardo Mondlane in 1962, and these currently enrol 948 and 253 students respectively. Table 27 provides a list of the research centres and units, to illustrate the research activity in a typical SADC university that has a moderate scale of interaction with ﬁrms. Table 27 Research centres at the University of Eduardo Mondlane 2008 Name Faculty Campus Staﬀ complement Engineering Studies Centre/Production Engineering Engineering 13 Unit Habitat Studies Centre Architecture and Architecture and 1 physical planning physical planning Machipanda Forestry Centre Agronomy and Manica Province 1 forestry engineering Management Group of Natural Resources Agronomy and Main 5 and Biodiversity forestry engineering Marine Biology Station Sciences Main 48 Biotechnology Centre Veterinary Veterinary 7 Veterinary Hospital Veterinary Veterinary Not available 358 Name Faculty Campus Staﬀ complement Study Series 2008 Pathology Centre Medicine Medicine 1 Informatics Centre Main 67 Centre for African Studies Main 23 Centre for Industrial Safety and Main 6 Environmental Studies Centre for Juridicial Practices Law Law 1 Local Public Administration Studies Law Law 2 Nucleus Environmental Research and Promotional Law Law 2 Centre Centre for Policy Analysis Arts and social Main Not available sciences Academic Development Centre Education Main 8 Source: HSRC database Research remains concentrated on the main campus, and the size of units tends to be very small for the most part. In contrast is the University of Technology, Mauritius, newly established to extend the capability of the science system in Mauritius. It has a specialised mission with a technology focus: To oﬀer a range of university programmes and activities in full-time, part-time and mixed modes to meet the changing needs of Mauritius and develop a regional and international dimension to its activities. The University of Technology, Mauritius will aim for excellence along traditional as well as beyond traditional approaches to teaching, training, research and consultancy (http://www.utm.ac.mu). It explicitly aims to co-operate with government and business, and to promote entrepreneurship. So, for instance, in-company training is part of the curriculum in the tourism management programmes. It oﬀers programmes on a part-time and distance basis as well as ﬂexible entry and exit points, in order to facilitate access. Many of the programmes are occupationally or vocationally directed, for example, MSc banking and ﬁnance, or MSc tourism management and marketing, or software engineering. It oﬀers short course programmes such as a full-time course for higher executive oﬃcers for 15 weeks. In this orientation and approach it diﬀers from traditional universities in SADC. However, it is a very new www.sarua.org institution and has yet to achieve stability and implement its vision of technology development. Similar to this institution, the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe is a young university, but it has a long history stretching as far back as 1982, when the need for a second university in Zimbabwe was recognised. It began operating “with a science and technology bias”. The National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe claims to: 359 foster an academic community where both staﬀ and students can push back the frontiers of knowledge in science and technology. As such it is a centre of research, and has ties University-Firm Interaction in the Region with universities on the African continent as well as the world (http://www.nust.ac.zw). Its total enrolment in 2008 was 4 562 undergraduate and 654 postgraduate students, with an academic staﬀ complement of 194, 49 of whom hold PhDs. The Faculty of Medicine was established in 2005 and hosted only 26 students in 2008. Of note is that the university reports that 58,3% of its income from national university funds is spent on research projects in the Faculty of Applied Sciences. It has one domestic patent awarded. However, these trends must be interpreted in the light of the economic situation in Zimbabwe, which some report is threatening the survival of the entire higher education system (http://www. universityworldnews.com 17 August 2008). The Open University of Tanzania falls somewhere in between the other three, oﬀering a new mode of delivery in fairly traditional university ﬁelds. Its mission is to “continuously provide quality open and distance education, research and public service for sustainable and equitable social economic development of Tanzania in particular and the rest of Africa” (http://www.out.ac.tz/). It oﬀers courses through a combination of distance learning systems such as broadcasting, telecasting, correspondence courses, seminars, contact programmes and, increasingly, e-learning with the support of 69 study centres. It reported a total enrolment of 8 233 in 2008, of whom the majority are enrolled in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Faculty of Science, Technology and Environmental Studies is the third largest with 1 320 undergraduates, but only two postgraduate students. There are 208 academic staﬀ members, of whom 54 have PhDs. It reported a very small research proﬁle, namely three research projects funded by national university funds and six by international donors. Organised by a separate directorate, postgraduate study was introduced in 2001. Most of the university’s postgraduate students are enrolled in the faculties of business management and education. As with the other four, we have no data on the extent to which this university is achieving its mission and strategic objectives. 3.3.2 Supporting research and innovation Table 28 tabulates the existence of university policy and structures to support research, innovation and interaction. Here, the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe seems to be the most creative in setting up external interface structures, although it does not yet have an intellectual property rights policy in place (it is reportedly in the pipeline). 360 Table 28 Policy and structures of moderately interactive universities Eduardo National Open University University of Study Series 2008 Mondlane University of of Tanzania Technology, Science and Mauritius Technology in Zimbabwe Research policy 1 1 1 1 Intellectual property 0 1 0 1 rights policy Strategic policy 1 1 1 1 Research oﬃce 1 1 1 0 Contracts oﬃce 1 0 1 0 Technology transfer 0 1 0 0 oﬃce Innovation oﬃce 0 1 0 0 Extension oﬃce 1 0 0 0 Science park 0 1 0 0 Incubator 0 1 0 1 Information and 0 1 1 1 communication technology policy Information and 1 1 1 1 communication technology unit Source: HSRC database Eduardo Mondlane and the Open University of Tanzania tend to have fairly traditional policies and structures, including an extension oﬃce (Eduardo Mondlane) and a contracts oﬃce (Open University of Tanzania). The University of Technology, Mauritius reports an incubator, but it does not yet have a research or contracts oﬃce. The National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe has established a technopark, a strategic business unit falling under the vice-chancellor’s oﬃce. It is operated as an interface between the university and public and private enterprises. The technopark has as its mission: to forge partnerships between the faculties and departments of NUST so as to encourage www.sarua.org co-operation and transdisciplinarity on the one hand and industry, commerce and the communities on the other hand so as to create opportunities for developing and sharing knowledge, know-how, skills and experiences; resulting in tangible beneﬁts that are shared equitably between the parties who have all become stakeholders (http://www.nust.ac.zw/content/view/468/522/). 361 The strategic objectives are commercialisation, intellectual property rights management, facilitation of technology transfer and licensing, and incubation. We do not have any evidence about the status University-Firm Interaction in the Region of this venture. To conclude, the four universities have in common that, since their establishment in the late 1990s and early 2000s (and redevelopment in the case of Eduardo Mondlane), they have been able to set themselves up, to varying degrees, with a new strategic science and technology orientation focused on national development needs. Informed by global higher education shifts, they display a new responsiveness to their local context in their orientation and approach. 3.4 Universities with a small scale of relationships with ﬁrms There are seven universities in the group that report a small scale of relationship with ﬁrms (see Table 25). When we analysed the features of these universities, it became apparent that there are two diﬀerent proﬁles: ﬁve established universities with relatively well-qualiﬁed staﬀ and two very new universities in Zimbabwe created as part of a policy of devolution and enhancing technological capacity. Table 29 Proﬁle of universities with a small scale of interaction Year Under- Post- Science Staﬀ Staﬀ PhD % staﬀ establi- graduate graduate under- total PhD shed enrolment enrolment graduate enrolment Univ of Dar es 1970 18 835 1 099 1 027 1 142 538 47 Salaam Univ of 1965 6 100 904 778 252 104 41 Mauritius Universite de 1971/1988 3 601 207 - 109 70 64 Toliara Harare 2005 120 Only Institute of established Technology in 2007 University of 1967 Data not available Malawi2 Midlands 2000 9 602 429 1 496 370 7 1,9 State University University of 1982 14 446 1 029 1 634 650 134 20,6 Botswana Source: HSRC database 2 The data submitted covered Bunda College only. Aggregate data across the university’s sites were not available to the researchers. 362 3.4.1 Established universities Five of the universities that reported a small-scale relationship with ﬁrms are established universities, Study Series 2008 operating since the 1960s or 1970s: Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (1970), Mauritius (1965), Botswana (1982, but operating since 1964 as part of the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland), Malawi (1967) and De Toliara in Madagascar (1971, one of ﬁve branches of the University of Madagascar, which were established as independent universities in 1988). There is a wide variation in the size of these universities. Dar es Salaam is a large university by any standards and is the second-largest in our sample. The university grew its postgraduate enrolment by 300% from 2002/03 to a total of 2 890 in 2006/07, while the undergraduate enrolment grew by 51% in the same period. Similarly, Botswana has grown, incorporating the Botswana Polytechnic in 1996 as the core of its Faculty of Engineering and Technology. The other three are small universities. Notably, four of these established universities have a well-qualiﬁed staﬀ complement, with a relatively high percentage of the total staﬀ holding PhDs: De Toliara (64%), Dar es Salaam (47%), Mauritius (41%) and Botswana (21%). In general, a PhD seems to be more of a requirement for teaching positions at the universities with historical links to the French system compared to the other universities. These universities tend to be oriented more strongly to developing their academic reputation and building academic networks. For instance, the University of Mauritius in its new strategic direction for 2006-2015 “aspires to be a leading international university, bridging knowledge across continents through excellence and intellectual creativity” (Annual Report, 2005/06) and thus focuses on building national and international collaborations and partnerships, to build staﬀ capacity and attract new academic staﬀ. The University of Dar es Salaam focuses on “the unrelenting pursuit of scholarly and strategic research, education, training and public service directed at [the] attainment of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development” (http://www.udsm.ac.tz). It was an aﬃliated college of the University of London since 1961 and later became a constituent college of the University of East Africa until it was formally established as an independent university in 1970. The current strategic focus is on enhancing the quality of outputs from the three-fold mission of teaching, research and public service. In this light, it is signiﬁcant that one of its research professors, Prof. Yanda of the Institute of Resource Assessment, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (http://www.udsm.ac.tz). As larger, more established institutions, these universities ﬁnd it challenging to change their traditional orientation. If they do aspire to increase the scale of interaction with ﬁrms, however, they are likely to do so on a stronger academic base and may for this reason have enhanced possibilities. www.sarua.org 3.4.2 New technologically oriented universities Two institutions in this group are recent additions to Zimbabwe’s count: the Midlands State University (2000) and the Harare Institute of Technology (2005), created out of similar imperatives to the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe. Midlands State, for example, was formed in the context of a new higher education policy of devolution in order to expand access through the 363 incorporation of teacher education and technical colleges, together with a regional political drive for the establishment of a national university based in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe (http://www. University-Firm Interaction in the Region msu.ac.zw). The university oﬀers ﬂexible packaging and work experience to better prepare students for the workplace. Midlands State has grown rapidly in a short period of time to become a medium-sized university. Only 2% of staﬀ – seven academics – at Midlands hold PhDs, a concern given that there are some 9 600 students, of whom almost 1 500 are registered in the Science Faculty (with only one academic with a PhD in the faculty) and given that they oﬀer 16 master’s programmes. Harare Institute of Technology converted from a polytechnic to a degree-awarding institution (Daily News, 27 March 2003). Originally set up in 1988 as the National Vocational Training Development Centre, it became the Harare Institute of Technology in 2005, with a mission to “train lecturers in technology and provide education programmes focusing on design, production and maintenance technology relevant to industry and other sectors of the economy” (http://www.gibbsmagazine.com). In 2007, it was reported that there were 120 students enrolled in the ﬂedgling institution. In February 2007, it was reported that a science park was being constructed at the Harare Institute of Technology; this park was reportedly aimed at student training; small, medium and micro enterprise incubation; and encouraging interaction between industry and researchers. Lecturers at the Harare Institute of Technology were reported to have visited Singapore and Malaysia to learn from the foreign countries’ universities of technology and technoparks. There are great aspirations for this new initiative, but we have no further evidence of the implementation of these plans. Judging by their orientations, these universities should grow the scale of their interactions, but it is likely that at this stage, political and economic conditions are not conducive to provide the required scale of investment. 3.5 Universities with only isolated instances of interaction The ﬁnal group consists of nine universities, distinguished primarily by their small size. Aside from the Zimbabwe Open University, which has over 17 000 distance education students, they are all very small institutions (Table 30). The largest is Swaziland (5 647) and the smallest is the very new Lurio University (254), established only in 2007. Aside from Swaziland, they conduct very little research (Table 30), although, as we noted, a good proportion of the staﬀ at the French universities hold PhDs. 364 Table 30 Proﬁle of universities with isolated instances of interaction Year Under- Post- Science Publi- % staﬀ Staﬀ total Study Series 2008 graduate graduate under- cations with PhD enrolment enrolment graduate total enrolment Mzuzu 1998 1 392 24 Not Not 19 64 University available available University of 1982 5 647 47 349 78 53 245 Swaziland Universite 1961/1988 Not Antananarivo available Universite 1977/1988 1 469 54 462 Not 55 67 D‘Antsiranana available Lurio 2007 254 0 Not Not 17 41 University available available Muhimbili 1991/2007 Not University available of Health and Allied Sciences Zimbabwe 1999 17 321 2 405 2 920 19 30 30 Open University Universite 1993 4 522 36 Not 13 34 203 de Goma available University of 1977/1988 3 489 665 560 5 50 80 Fianarantsoa Source: HSRC database Once again, there are two groups distinguished by age. Swaziland and Antananarivo are relatively established, but they’re small. The University of Antananarivo used to be part of the University of Madagascar, as was D’Antsiranana and Fianarantsoa. Antananarivo traces its roots back to the colonial period in 1896 with the creation of the School of Medicine Befelatanana. They all have strong collaborations with France and other Francophone universities and are in the process of extending these. Fianarantsoa caters for the region, and its motto links learning and prosperity. D’Antsiranana has prioritised strengthening external relations and has signed agreements with an institute of ﬁsheries and marine sciences, Antananarivo University and the Higher Institute of Technology Antsiranana (www.refer.mg). www.sarua.org 365 The remainder are very new – Goma in war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mzuzu in Tanzania. Some universities are barely functional – Lurio in Mozambique and Muhimbili University of Health and University-Firm Interaction in the Region Allied Sciences in Tanzania. The Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, for instance, was formed out of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Dar es Salaam, which was upgraded to a constituent college of the university in 1991, as a precursor to developing a new university. This ﬁnally occurred in 2007, when the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences was formally recognised as a university. It is too early to predict what will transpire in these new institutions. 3.6 Patterns of interaction The proﬁles we have drawn of three groups of universities are based on a limited set of indicators and limited sources of data. In addition, some of the data are uneven and rely on self-reporting. We have attempted to triangulate with data from university websites and other secondary sources. Ideally, we would need full contextual proﬁles of each university, placed against a fuller contextual understanding of the policy framework and levels of economic and technological development in the various countries. Part 5 will draw on South African research to show how a more grounded categorisation of universities can be used for strategic planning. In the absence of more substantial and contextually grounded research, we nevertheless have made potentially useful distinctions between groups of SADC universities, based on the extent of their interaction and their institutional proﬁles. To recap, we distinguished between the following three groups: • Those with a moderate scale of interaction with industry: • relatively new medium to large universities with a new strategic science and technology orientation focused on national development needs. • Those with a small scale of interaction: • established larger universities with a more traditional orientation; and • very new small universities with a new-technology and entrepreneurial orientation. • Those with isolated instances of interaction: • established small universities; and • small new universities with a new-technology orientation. We will return to these groups in Part 6 to consider how this analysis can be used to inform strategic interventions. 366 Part 4: Constraints and opportunities Study Series 2008 for interaction We described our sample of universities in the context of higher education, science and technology, and economic development in SADC. We then considered aggregate trends in the reported existence and importance of collaboration, forms of interaction and channels of communication. Although the overall levels were low, we attempted to identify the key features of groups of universities with similar scales of interaction. In Part 4, we reﬂect on the ways in which all 13 SADC universities perceive the opportunities oﬀered by interaction with ﬁrms and the constraints they experience that prevent them from pursuing interaction. 4.1 Beneﬁts of interaction How do the SADC universities rank the importance of diﬀerent kinds of beneﬁts of interaction? Do they value interaction with ﬁrms as a potential contributor to academic progress and national development? In this section we consider the value universities place on a range of possible beneﬁts sprouting from interaction with ﬁrms. Such analysis allows us to determine the extent to which interaction with ﬁrms is viewed as potentially desirable for universities to pursue. We consider interaction in general and in speciﬁc forms. Table 31: Beneﬁts of interaction Importance (%) 1 2 3 4 Average Insights for new collaborative research projects - 25 25 50 3,3 New university-based research projects 5 20 35 40 3,1 Knowledge or information exchange 5 10 35 50 3,3 Donations to fund a chair, building or research lab 15 25 10 50 3,0 Donations to fund scholarships and bursaries 15 15 25 45 3,0 Shared access to equipment /instruments 10 25 25 40 3,0 Material input for research such as testing or trial sites 5 20 30 45 3,2 Financial resources 20 10 15 55 3,1 www.sarua.org Access to new networks 20 10 20 50 3,0 Economic development opportunities for university 10 25 20 45 3,0 Local/regional economic development opportunities 10 25 20 45 3,0 Reputation of the research centre or university is 5 15 30 50 3,3 enhanced Source: HSRC database Note: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = moderately important, 4 = very important 367 Table 31 reﬂects that, on average, all the potential beneﬁts are viewed as important by the universities. Encouragingly, insights for new collaborative research projects are recognised as one of the most University-Firm Interaction in the Region signiﬁcant potential beneﬁts (3,3 average rating). The knowledge and reputation-related beneﬁts are rated the highest (3,3), and those around ﬁnancial beneﬁts and new economic roles rated slightly lower (3,0), but there is not a great range of variation. One trend that stands out is that, in relation to ﬁnancial resources, there is a split in the sample – 20% see it as not at all important and 55% see it as very important. There is thus a generally positive orientation and understanding of the potential beneﬁts of interaction with ﬁrms. 4.2 Obstacles to interaction In order to inform possible future interventions, we attempted to determine the main perceived obstacles to pursuing ﬁrm interaction. In Table 32, the variables have been grouped in terms of three sets of issues – those related to the university, those related to the nature of ﬁrms and those related to the interaction between them. The most important obstacles relate to a perceived lack of knowledge of ﬁrms and universities about one another’s activities, and the diﬀerence between their priorities. Indeed, 57% of the sample rated this as a very important obstacle – the most strongly shared perception across the universities. The diﬀerences in ﬁrm and university priorities are real and require a realistic understanding and assessment prior to university engagement. The fact that 42,9% of the sample see the diﬀerence between university and ﬁrm time-scales as only slightly important is thus of concern. The evidence from other contexts is that the (often very short) time-scales required by ﬁrms militates against quality academic work, and particularly the time-scales of postgraduate students who typically work on collaborative research projects (Kruss, 2005a). The lack of knowledge amongst ﬁrms of universities’ activities thus suggests a critical space for intervention, as does the converse, that universities need a realistic understanding of ﬁrms’ activities before they plan to engage with them. The most important university-related obstacles are speciﬁc to the SADC context – the need to develop research infrastructure and funding. The impact of foreign and donor-driven research agendas is an important contextually speciﬁc obstacle identiﬁed for consideration. 368 Table 32 Obstacles to interaction Importance (%) Study Series 2008 1 2 3 4 Average University-related obstacles Lack of knowledge in universities about ﬁrms‘ needs 15,0 5,0 30,0 50,0 3,2 University research infrastructure not adequate 9,5 9,5 38,1 42,9 3,1 Research costs (including researcher’s payment 9,5 14,3 33,3 42,9 3,1 and scholarships) Foreign donor/consultancy-driven research 4,8 28,6 28,6 38,1 3,0 agendas Postgraduate capacity of university is not well 9,5 23,8 47,6 19,0 2,8 developed Research capacity of university is not well developed 14,3 23,8 47,6 14,3 2,6 Lack of qualiﬁed personnel to establish a dialogue 14,3 33,3 33,3 19,0 2,6 University research concerned only with basic 23,8 28,6 33,3 14,3 2,4 science Bureaucracy of the university 28,6 28,6 19,0 23,8 2,4 Academic resistance to work with ﬁrms 47,6 23,8 14,3 14,3 2,0 Geographic distance and location of university 47,6 14,3 28,6 9,5 2,0 Firm-related obstacles Lack of knowledge in ﬁrms about research 9,5 14,3 19,0 57,1 3,2 activities in universities Bureaucracy of the ﬁrm 20,0 15,0 25,0 40,0 2,9 Interaction-related obstacle Diﬀerence between university and ﬁrm priorities 4,8 28,6 23,8 42,9 3,0 Intellectual property rights 20,0 30,0 10,0 40,0 2,7 Diﬀerence between university and ﬁrm time-scales 14,3 42,9 19,0 23,8 2,5 Source: HSRC database Note: 1 = not important, 2 = slightly important, 3 = moderately important, 4 = very important In contrast, many of the typical obstacles experienced in developed contexts are not seen as signiﬁcant problems. Almost half the universities in the sample claim that academic resistance is not important. This trend ﬁts with the generally positive perceptions of the potential beneﬁts of ﬁrm interaction reﬂected in Table 31. Almost half also claim that geographic location and distance are not www.sarua.org important obstacles, which requires further investigation, as location and proximity are extremely controversial issues in the research literature in other contexts (Arundel and Geuna, 2001; Moulaert and Swyngedouw, 1991). Similarly, issues around intellectual property rights are seen on average as slightly to moderately important as obstacles. This ﬁts with the generally small scale and low levels of importance attached to 369 the entrepreneurial forms of interaction described in Part 2. However, the issue of intellectual property rights is critical in the global economy, and intervention may be required to equip academics and University-Firm Interaction in the Region research managers to protect their interests. 4.3 Initiating interaction with ﬁrms Given these obstacles and the lack of mutual knowledge of ﬁrm and university activities, where does the initiative to pursue interaction originate – is it primarily university driven or primarily externally driven? Table 33 reﬂects that it is a highly privatised process, dependent on the individual researcher in 80% of the universities. The ﬁrm was reported to initiate the interaction in 30% of the cases, although in 45% of the cases it was a shared initiative. The role of university graduates as a link between the university and the ﬁrm is small, but potentially signiﬁcant, particularly given that the most common existing form of interaction reported is the preparation of graduates and human resources, and the education of work-ready students. Table 33 Initiating interaction Yes No Individual researcher 16 (80%) 4 (20%) Both parties (shared initiative) 9 (45%) 11 (55%) University graduate employed by ﬁrm 8 (40%) 12 (60%) Research group 7 (35%) 13 (65%) The ﬁrm 6 (30%) 14 (70%) Dedicated technology transfer oﬃce 4 (20%) 16 (80%) Initiative from an ex-researcher 3 (15%) 17 (85%) Spin-oﬀ ﬁrm created by former research group members 1 (5%) 19 (95%) Source: HSRC database The universities have few internal or external interface mechanisms – whether it be a technology transfer oﬃce, active research groups or support for spin-oﬀ ﬁrms – to promote interaction with ﬁrms, so it is not surprising that these are not signiﬁcant in initiating interaction. There is thus room for universities to consider a more proactive and strategic role in facilitating interaction. 4.4 Positive perceptions The trends identiﬁed in this section are encouraging. They highlight: • a positive orientation on the part of most universities, evident in a widespread understanding of the potential beneﬁts of interaction with ﬁrms; • key obstacles that can guide intervention; and • a role for universities in facilitating interaction. 370 Part 5: The case of South Africa Study Series 2008 This section will focus on the case of South Africa, the country with the strongest economy, science and technology system and university system in SADC and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Universities and universities of technology in South Africa, like their SADC counterparts and globally, are challenged to rethink the nature of and the balance between their core functions of teaching, research and outreach. There is a policy call for universities to become more responsive to both pressing social demands and to economic competitiveness, in a national and global context shaped by the imperatives of a knowledge economy, held in tension with the call to address poverty and inequality. Since 1994, universities in South Africa have been faced with potentially competing sets of demands, from state restructuring of their organisational forms, to curriculum and programme change in line with new institutional missions. The research funding environment has shifted signiﬁcantly, with a decrease in state subsidy, shifts in priorities of national research funding agencies towards redress and capacity-building, and government calls to achieve greater responsiveness and accountability through strategic and applied research, and interactions with industry and community. With a stronger orientation to global competitiveness, there have also been changes in the way industry funds and conducts research. This section draws on HSRC studies of university-industry interaction across the South African higher education landscape, highlighting the scale and forms of interaction, the patterns of institutional response and the strategies adopted at institutional level. The assumption is that the South African experience can better inform the strategic possibilities for SADC, as opposed to drawing on practice in the developed economies such as the United Kingdom and the United States, as has so often been the case. 5.1 The scale of university-ﬁrm interaction Providing reliable data on the scale of interaction at any one point in time would involve an audit of all academics, an extremely diﬃcult and costly research exercise. Petersen and Rumbelow (2008) have analysed two national data sets that provide an indication of the scale of interaction from the perspective of ﬁrms. The South African Innovation Survey measures ﬁrms’ innovation-related activities, based on a random stratiﬁed sample of ﬁrms to generate national statistics. The National Research and Development Survey targets known research and development (R&D) performing ﬁrms only, using a purposive sampling strategy. The research and development www.sarua.org survey data set is thus held to be an “elevated sub-set of the innovation landscape” (Petersen and Rumbelow, 2008:8). The Innovation Survey 2005 covering the period 2002 to 2004 found that 51,7% of South African ﬁrms engaged in innovation activities. These ﬁrms were asked if they had collaborated with other partners in their innovation activities. The most common collaborative partner were clients or customers 371 (37,5%), suppliers (35%), competitors (29,4%), consultants and commercial laboratories (18,2%), and then, universities or technikons (15,5%), followed by public research institutes (13,4%) and other ﬁrms University-Firm Interaction in the Region in the group (5,5%) (CESTII, 2008). The research and development survey 2005/6 found that almost two-thirds, 218 of 327 research and development-performing ﬁrms, reported that they collaborate on research and development activities. Table 34 reﬂects the collaboration partners identiﬁed by this group of ﬁrms. Local higher education institutions are the most sought-after collaboration partners, followed by other companies, members of own company and science councils. Foreign ﬁrms are next, followed by foreign members of the same company. The total number of ﬁrms involved in collaboration with universities is small, 120. This is nevertheless a positive trend. Where ﬁrms are performing research and development, many are collaborating with universities and public research institutes in South Africa. Table 34 Research and development collaborations from the South African Research and Development Survey 2005/6 Collaboration partner SA Foreign Higher education 120 31 Science councils 82 16 Government research institutes 43 14 Members of own company 83 54 Other companies 99 62 Not-for-proﬁt 15 4 TOTAL 442 181 No collaboration 109 TOTAL R&D performing ﬁrms 327 Source: Extracted from Petersen and Rumbelow (2008) Based on these two data sets, we can estimate trends in the scale of university-ﬁrm interaction in South Africa. • Only 8% of all South African ﬁrms tend to collaborate with universities. • A higher 15% of innovative ﬁrms tend to collaborate with universities. • A more signiﬁcant 37% of R&D-performing ﬁrms tend to collaborate with South African universities. The next question, of course, is what forms do such collaborative activities take? What are the forms of interaction with ﬁrms evident in South African universities? 372 5.2 Forms of interaction Study Series 2008 Kruss (2005a, 2005b) has deﬁned ideal types of the forms of university-ﬁrm interaction evident in South African universities. Traditional forms of interaction continue in the present. Donations, one of the oldest forms of interaction, are conceptualised as benefaction or philanthropy on the part of industry, typically in the form of the endowment of a chair or building. Closely related is sponsorship, with postgraduate student research funding a core focus, given the imperative for industry to respond to socio-economic development needs in the ‘new South Africa’ and to strengthen their corporate social responsibility portfolios. In these forms of interaction, the relationship between higher education and industry is primarily limited to ﬁnancial support, and higher education is left free to continue with its intellectual projects, with few conditions imposed. The dominant forms of interaction currently evident across the system are consultancies and contracts, strongly shaped by higher education’s ﬁnancial imperatives. In consultancies, typically an individual researcher in higher education acts in an advisory capacity to address the immediate knowledge problems of a ﬁrm, in exchange for individual ﬁnancial beneﬁt. Likewise, contracts may be linked to solving potentially interesting scientiﬁc problems or, more likely, to addressing a speciﬁc immediate ﬁrm problem, but are primarily motivated by the need to attract funding for research on the part of higher education. Design solutions are a related form that has emerged, where universities of technology with appropriate technological expertise have set up centres for prototyping and testing, oﬀering design solutions to industry. These forms of interaction place potentially severe restrictions on the intellectual project of researchers, in order to protect the ﬁnancial interests of the ﬁrm. There is small but growing evidence of new entrepreneurial forms of interaction such as commercialisation, in which higher education researchers take on a strongly entrepreneurial role, attempting to commercialise prior intellectual work in the form of a spin-oﬀ company or in collaboration with an existing company willing to exploit intellectual property in the form of royalties, licences and patents, or through venture capital. Here, the relationship is primarily shaped by ﬁnancial imperatives for both industry and higher education. New forms of interaction that have emerged include incentivised interactions, with a weak form of intellectual collaboration, stimulated by government funding aimed at developing research and development and innovative capacity in South Africa, by encouraging technology transfer between higher education and industry. Collaboration interactions have a knowledge-based linkage in which all partners make an intellectual contribution. Finally, in a minority of institutions, there is evidence of complex network forms of interaction, in the sense of Castells’ (1996) deﬁnition that they facilitate www.sarua.org the acquisition of product design and production technology, enable joint production and process development, and permit generic scientiﬁc knowledge and research and development to be shared between a number of industry organisations and researchers from (several) higher education institutions. These are knowledge-intensive forms of interaction, and are primarily shaped by the intellectual imperatives of both industry and higher education partners. 373 A single institution is likely to have a range of forms of interaction co-existing in diﬀerent faculties and departments, or even within a single research centre, to meet distinct purposes. For instance, a University-Firm Interaction in the Region research unit may have core funding from a science council, supplemented by sponsorship to fund postgraduate students and a range of small consultancies to meet speciﬁc ﬁnancial requirements. However, each form of interaction has speciﬁc implications in terms of beneﬁts and constraints, and each requires diﬀerent institutional structures, strategies and mechanisms to be managed. 5.3 Five patterns of university response Like their counterparts in SADC, the response of South African universities is shaped by their diﬀerential historical legacy. As Castells (2001) argues, the core tasks of universities are given diﬀerent emphases according to countries, historical periods and speciﬁc institutions, but they all take place simultaneously within the same structure, which results in a complex and contradictory reality. Thus, as individual institutions grapple with contemporary challenges and myriad competing demands, they respond in complex, uneven and ‘messy’ ways. Some universities in South Africa were established in the late nineteenth century to serve colonial elites and continued to serve a primarily advantaged, racially deﬁned constituency for many years, while others were established in remote rural areas as recently as the late 1970s to serve the apartheid ‘homelands’ policy. The technikons were formally established in the 1970s to serve the demand for career-oriented, technological education and training, were granted degree-awarding status in 1993, and designated ‘universities of technology’ in 2004 (Winberg, 2005). At that point, there was a process of institutional restructuring of universities and technikons to create a new institutional landscape through mergers and incorporations. Consequently, there are considerable diﬀerences between institutions in the balance between teaching and research, in science and technology research capacity and productivity, and in the cultures and forms of research management that have evolved – all of which shape their response to the new ﬁnancial and intellectual imperatives driving interaction. Clusters of universities and technikons with a similar scale and pattern of old and new forms of interaction could be discerned in South Africa. One key distinction was the extent to which institutions had either a strong or an emergent research capacity, and the second was the extent to which institutions had a highly structured, regulated and proactive organisational response in an attempt to promote interaction with industry, or whether they had a largely unregulated organisational response. This yielded ﬁve distinct categories of university: • harnessing innovation potential; • emerging entrepreneurialism; • laissez-faire aspirational; • laissez-faire traditional; and • emergent alternatives. 374 5.3.1 Harnessing innovation potential The ﬁrst category of institutions that may be discerned is in many respects an ideal. These universities Study Series 2008 have a small number of new forms of network, collaboration, incentivised and commercialised interaction among their total spread, alongside consultancies, contracts and donations, that are signiﬁcant in scale relative to all the other institutions. Their sound research capacity and structured institutional response helps us to understand why these speciﬁc institutions were able to build new forms of interaction. They are among the oldest and historically most advantaged universities in South Africa, serving a privileged community for many decades. They have extensive ﬁscal resources and long-standing links with business and industry, some with research roots and expertise strongly shaped by military research and development in the apartheid period. Signiﬁcantly, they each have a sound science and technology research base from which to respond to the challenges of the present. Research excellence is prioritised, and hence an attempt to create a balance in favour of fundamental research, while strategically exploiting the opportunities for applied and strategic research that can contribute to greater economic responsiveness. These universities have well-articulated and well-integrated formal institutional strategic and research policies, accompanied by long-established structures and mechanisms to co-ordinate and support research activity in general, at both central and faculty level. Formal strategic policy explicitly supports innovation, encompassing a conception of interaction framed in terms of developing a ‘strategic balance’. Policies encompass the aspiration to relate to industry in academically beneﬁcial terms and are not explicitly driven solely by ﬁnancial imperatives; they seek to develop forms of interaction that can contribute to innovation. Intellectual property rights policy typically reﬂects a concern that potential tensions be resolved, that interactions should be structured and designed in such a way that they are able to generate research from which the academic can derive a publications record but which does not compromise the commercial interests of the industry partner. Internal interface structures refer to those dedicated forms of organisational development created within an institution to support relations with industry, such as specialised internal structures for technology transfer, dedicated managerial posts, oﬃces for continuing education or technology innovation centres (Martin, 2000). External interface structures play a similar role, but they typically have a separate legal status from the institution, to enhance ﬂexibility and responsiveness, and to create a professional, higher-status, market-related interface, such as university-owned companies, incubators, science parks and consultancy centres. What stands out in this group is the scale of centralised steering and supportive structures created by management to promote interactions. A number of high-level www.sarua.org interface structures have been established by central research management. 5.3.2 Emerging entrepreneurialism Closely related are a second set of universities that display an emerging entrepreneurialism, who are more explicitly driven by the ﬁnancial imperatives facing higher education, and at the same time 375 are trying to consolidate and develop their scientiﬁc research capacity. The growth of interaction is underpinned by a coherent institutional attempt to develop research expertise in potentially University-Firm Interaction in the Region lucrative directions, and to generate ‘third-stream income’ for the institution. They explicitly articulate a discourse of an entrepreneurial university or university of technology. There is a conception that the institutions should allow for diﬀerent modes of research, but priority tends to be given to applied and strategic research. The universities of technology speciﬁcally aim to become key players in the development and transfer of technology, to contribute to the process of technological innovation. The scale of interaction with industry tends to be small. What stands out among the forms of interaction is the promotion of commercialisation and forms of interaction that oﬀer design solutions, as well as an extremely small number of ﬂedgling incentivised networks. These exist alongside predominantly contract and consultancy forms of interaction. A new policy and funding emphasis stimulated these primarily teaching institutions to adopt a stronger focus on research than in the past. They currently have limited research expertise and capacity in science and technology, hence a more limited base for interaction with ﬁrms. Most have only very recently articulated a formal institutional research policy and development plan, which typically aim to develop and improve research capacity. The regulation of research is largely emergent or very new. They, too, have a highly regulated, structured, proactive institutional response, led strongly from the centre by institutional leadership. In the strategies and structures they are developing to realise their aspirations, these universities adopted the ‘textbook’ features that they have come to believe promote interaction, drawn from international ‘best practice’, particularly investment in external interface structures. Through the establishment of technology stations, a science and technology park, technology incubators that focus on small, medium and micro enterprises, or ’design solutions’ centres such as prototype product development, they reveal ambitious plans, but the scale of operations is generally modest. There is evidence to suggest that at this point, new practices are still emergent or embryonic, outside of small pockets of expertise. Their location at a distance from major economic centres or hubs is also signiﬁcant. No matter how good the policies, structures and mechanisms a university puts in place, it may struggle to realise its potential if it is not situated in an economic environment where industry is willing and able to enter into interactions. External structural constraints often mean that their institutional plans are still largely aspirational. 5.3.3 Laissez-faire aspirational A third group of younger, primarily historically advantaged, universities and technikons contains the largest number of institutions. These institutions are distinguished by a generally positive attitude towards interactions. Institutional policy tends to enshrine a view of interaction as an ‘essential necessity’ that can contribute to the funding base of the institution’s research and to its commitment to responsiveness and community relevance. They do not have a signiﬁcant scale of interaction, and the forms of interaction are typically contracts or consultancies. These interactions use applied research techniques in which there is usually little space for graduate students to do original research towards a higher degree. There is a small number of sponsorships that aim to build capacity, a very small 376 number of incentivised interactions at each institution, as well as a tiny number of commercialisation interactions, in the form of spin-oﬀ companies, at some of the universities. Collaborative interactions Study Series 2008 with other universities are a signiﬁcant feature of the universities of technology, where the challenges of developing a research ethos was particularly evident. It was typically noted that some industry relationships are built through a co-operative learning system that could form the basis of research interactions in future. Like the institutions with an emerging entrepreneurial approach, these universities are still developing research capacity, with a small emergent research base in niche areas. However, they have a largely unregulated and unstructured approach to interaction. These institutions do not have clearly formulated and well-structured explicit institutional policies, structures or mechanisms to support interactions speciﬁcally. The policy and vision is of course shaped by each institution’s unique history, culture and traditions, but in general there tends to be a stronger commitment to economic and social development, and interactions are envisioned in this light. They do not have a substantive, detailed set of policy articulations to strategically drive interaction or the allocation of intellectual property rights. They tend to have policy documents that are largely symbolic and aspirational, providing frameworks for future institutional development. Similarly, these institutions tend to have or are developing internal interface structures that support and facilitate research, rather than promoting interactions speciﬁcally. There are few formally structured interface mechanisms. Thus they may be said to have an aspirational laissez-faire approach to interaction, leaving much of the initiative to be driven by individual academic ‘champions’ on an ad hoc basis, or facilitation in terms of the tacit knowledge and expertise lodged in an individual manager at central level. If we were to undertake a comparison, many of the SADC universities would be akin to the universities in this group, with a positive laissez-faire orientation and the need to build their science and technology and research base. 5.3.4 Laissez-faire traditional The fourth category also evinces a laissez-faire approach to interaction in that there are few dedicated strategies, structures or mechanisms to facilitate interaction. However, here there is an ambivalent to negative attitude to interaction with industry. While individuals may engage in industry interactions, the institutional policy and leadership in general tends to tolerate them as a ‘necessary evil’ that has to be controlled. Even more strongly, there is a concerted institutional lobby opposed to interaction as ‘inimical to traditional academic practice’. This is in the context of historically advantaged universities that for the most part have strong, well-established research capacity in science and technology, like www.sarua.org those universities in the ‘harnessing innovation potential’ category. Most interactions take the form of contracts and consultancies that involve straight commercial relationships, with the presence of a few incentivised and historical sponsorship forms of interaction, such as from the mining industry or in relation to student funding. There are very few commercialisation or network forms of interaction at these institutions, particularly when considered relative to their counterparts with sound research capacity. 377 Unlike the other strong research universities, these institutions tend not to have a centralised formal research policy or strategy, nor do they have a coherent policy or strategy relating to interactions. Central University-Firm Interaction in the Region institutional leadership is not proactive, and there has been little central steering of interaction activity. These universities have begun, in a rather ad hoc and inexplicit way, to implement policies and practices in relation to interaction, speciﬁcally those related to intellectual policy and third-stream income. However, given the conception of interactions as a ‘necessary evil’, there is an attempt to control the potential ‘excesses’ in the interests of protecting the traditional academic project of the institution. The laissez-faire institutional approach was seen as a signiﬁcant constraint by those researchers who desired to or did pursue interactions with industry. Together, these dynamics resulted in academics or faculties establishing their own consultancy companies, which provided the ﬁnancial and governance freedom required to work with industry, enabling them to retain all intellectual property rights. Such interface structures act in an ad hoc manner to fulﬁl the interests of speciﬁc departments or individual researchers. They tend to be more ﬁrmly driven by the short-term needs of industry and may be at odds with the central institutional strategic thrust. This represents a potential danger for the institution, and for the long-term development of knowledge in a ﬁeld. 5.3.5 Emergent alternatives? In South Africa, there was a group of universities that did not display research capacity, primarily but not entirely historically disadvantaged and located in isolated rural locations, with a focus on teaching, and for whom research was not part of their core mission. Most of these universities had a distinct legacy arising from their establishment as part of the apartheid political strategy. Their founding mission was to train a bureaucracy to support the ‘homelands’ or separate states created by apartheid policy, which largely precluded the development of a strong academic research orientation, with little emphasis on the production of new knowledge in the form of research or postgraduate programmes (Nkomo and Sehoole, 2004). This was exacerbated by unequal funding to black universities, inadequate to sustain a vibrant intellectual culture, and their isolated rural location. Some of these institutions became important sites of political resistance, both among academics and students, developing a basis for the production and dissemination of democratic values, policy and practices (Reddy, 2004). Thus evolved a ‘community development’ model of outreach activities that involved academics in participatory processes drawing on their teaching and research to varying degrees. These institutions, too, are logically harnessing the (more limited) potential for innovation, albeit with an alternative development vision that is potentially signiﬁcant in the South African and SADC context. They articulate a strong aspiration towards the utilisation of technology in poverty reduction and sustainable development, and focus on interactions that facilitate community development and impact positively on the quality of life. Some of these universities have articulated a strategic research vision and identity that strongly foregrounds a commitment to regional and local socio-economic development. In SADC, this is equally as important as developing high-technology capacity aimed at enhancing global competitiveness. There is an attempt to turn the disadvantage of their isolated rural location, far from economic activity, into a comparative advantage. In some cases the speciﬁc features of the location of the institution act as an incentive for research collaboration and the development of expertise. 378 Much of the small scale of interaction activity related to the dissemination of knowledge in new contexts and to critical social applications of knowledge. There is also a small scale of knowledge Study Series 2008 generation in relation to harnessing indigenous knowledge structures in innovative ways, such as the bio-technological investigation of the potential of medicinal plants. At this stage, many strategic plans function primarily as statements of symbolic intent, which capture the future vision and aspirations of the institution. They will need a great deal of support if they are to be translated into substantive policy and concrete transformation at the institutional, faculty and sub-faculty levels, particularly given the constraints of the universities’ legacy. However, these forms of interaction represent an emergent alternative position, with potential opportunities to contribute to innovation in a social developmental manner, appropriate to and shaped speciﬁcally by the South African – and SADC – context. 5.4 Informing strategic responses in SADC This analysis is speciﬁc to the South African context, but it demonstrates the ways in which diﬀerent universities can strategically respond to new global, national and local imperatives. There are distinct similarities between some of the universities in the 13 SADC countries and the groups of South African universities, but we would need to establish the congruence more systematically. What the SADC universities can learn from this analysis is to use it for strategic planning. We will discuss precisely how in the concluding section. www.sarua.org 379 Part 6: Promoting university-ﬁrm University-Firm Interaction in the Region interaction in the SADC universities Universities in SADC have tended to have little autonomy in setting their own priorities and agendas, whether driven by foreign or government agendas. The question is whether the imperative to establish university-ﬁrm interaction is not simply another external agenda that they will be compelled to pursue. We have tried to show the potential role of such interaction in economic and social development, and the signiﬁcance of developing strong universities, if the SADC countries are not to be left even further behind in the global knowledge economy. SADC countries can adopt and incorporate interaction with ﬁrms strategically in order to set their own development agendas. This study of the current scale and forms of interaction aims to inform strategic interventions to strengthen universities and promote interaction between knowledge producers and knowledge users. Part 6 will summarise the key trends and patterns identiﬁed and consider how understanding current conditions can provide a grounded basis to inform interventions, both by the universities themselves and by SARUA. It is also evident that such a study is only a ﬁrst step and has helped to reﬁne a future research agenda. 6.1 The scale of, and propensity for, interaction 6.1.1 A positive propensity The trends identiﬁed highlight a positive propensity and orientation towards research, innovation and interaction with ﬁrms. The survey revealed a strongly positive orientation on the part of most universities in the 13 SADC countries, evident in a widespread understanding of the potential beneﬁts of interaction with ﬁrms, and a strongly positive evaluation of the importance of a range of forms and channels of interaction. 6.1.2 A small scale of existence At this point in time, we found interaction to exist primarily in isolated instances or on a small scale across the sampled universities in the SADC region. There are aggregate trends that provide indications of directions and points for future intervention: • Strong collaboration exists between local universities, on a moderate to wide scale, and there is an encouraging scale of collaboration with public research institutions, although there are not many of these institutions in each country. 380 • Collaboration on a moderate scale exists with a wide range of public sector and development partners – national government, regional government, community organisations and local non-government Study Series 2008 organisations – potentially important for universities’ roles in support of local development. • Those forms of interaction tending towards a moderate scale are the education of work-ready students, related to the core teaching role of most universities, as well as consultancy. • The channels of communication with ﬁrms that are most freely available in the public domain, informal and tacit, are most important. • There are few outcomes of interaction with ﬁrms other than the traditional results of university activity such as students and publications. • Initiating interaction has tended to be an individual endeavour, up to the academic. • Universities have research policy and structures, but very few have internal and external interface structures to support and facilitate innovation. • Key obstacles that the universities prioritised are: • The lack of understanding and knowledge of ﬁrms and universities of one another’s activities and potential; • The need to build research capacity and infrastructure; and • The need to overcome the dominance of foreign-driven research agendas. • Two critical obstacles that the universities did not prioritise are issues of intellectual property rights and of the geographic location of universities in relation to centres of economic activity. 6.1.3 Groups of universities distinguished Noting that more substantial and contextually grounded research is required, we made preliminary distinctions between three groups of SADC universities, based on the scale of interaction and on their institutional proﬁle. • Universities with a moderate scale of interaction with industry: Relatively new medium to large universities with a new strategic science and technology orientation focused on national development needs: Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique; National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe; University of Technology, Mauritius; Tanzania Open University. • Universities with a small scale of interaction: • www.sarua.org Established larger universities with a more traditional orientation: University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, University of Mauritius, University of Botswana, University of Malawi and Universite de Toliara in Madagascar. • Very new small universities with a new-technology and entrepreneurial orientation: the Midlands State University and the Harare Institute of Technology in Zimbabwe. 381 • Those with isolated instances of interaction: • Established small universities: University of Swaziland and Universite Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa University-Firm Interaction in the Region and Antsiranana in Madagascar. • Small new universities with a new-technology orientation: Mzuzu University and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania, Universidad Lurio in Mozambique and Universite de Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Such distinctions potentially facilitate more nuanced and targeted developmental interventions aimed at groups of universities with similar experiences. 6.2 Drawing on the South African experience to plan strategically We have shown that the scale of interaction in South African universities is much larger and takes a greater variety of forms, with the respondent universities displaying ﬁve distinct responses to interaction, depending on their research capability and their organisational structure. We propose that insights from the South African case are particularly pertinent to other SADC countries, rather than an unreﬂective appropriation of forms of interaction from more developed economies. Kruss (2005a, 2005b) has proposed a matrix of forms of interaction that individual universities may use to plan to grow interaction strategically. The ﬁrst step is to analyse the current state of interaction in their institution, in terms of the scale and spread of distinct forms of interaction. Each form of interaction has potential beneﬁts and disadvantages for a university. University planners can situate the existing state of interaction within an analysis of their local, regional and national economic and social contexts, and against their institutional mission, strategic plans and research strengths. On this basis, they can set strategic targets, in terms of promoting a balance of diﬀerent forms of interaction with ﬁrms in speciﬁc sectors or with government or with NGOs, community and development organisations. Once a university has set strategic targets in terms of its conditions, capabilities and institutional vision, it will then need to determine what policies and structures it needs to put in place. The analysis in Part 5 highlights a number of the key policies and structures that have worked in the South African context; these can inform practice in the SADC universities. 6.3 Cautions and spaces for action The analysis of the survey data and of the South African context has highlighted a number of areas for caution as well as potential spaces for action. Each proposal highlighted here is based on the assumption that strategies should build on intensifying and elaborating areas of existing strength and avoid creating brand-new initiatives for which the right conditions may not exist. 382 6.3.1 Do NOT pursue new models of the university uncritically without suﬃcient interrogation in terms of their appropriateness to the Study Series 2008 conditions and contexts of SADC countries In the developed-country context, there has been a strong push towards promoting new models of the university. A particularly popular and widespread model is the concept of an entrepreneurial university (Etkowitz and Webster, 1998; Etkowitz et al., 2000; Clark, 2004). Universities have attempted to generate income by exploiting the intellectual property of their scientists and researchers, whether in patenting, licensing, spin-out and start-up companies. We would caution strongly against the uncritical adoption of such models as a panacea for the SADC countries. We have seen that the entrepreneurial model has been inﬂuential in some universities in South Africa. There is little evidence to suggest that such entrepreneurial ventures have been successful in the South African case. Commercial forms of interaction have absorbed a great deal of funding, human resources and energy without signiﬁcant return, certainly in the short to medium term. And there are many cases where academic entrepreneurial novices have lost a great deal of university, donor or investor funds in unsustainable ventures (Kruss, 2008). The survey demonstrated that in the SADC universities there is currently virtually no capacity for patenting, little awareness or provision of intellectual property rights frameworks and few external interface structures that promote commercialisation. There is not a strong base in science and technology in terms of qualiﬁed academics, postgraduate students or research funding. That is, some of the fundamental conditions for creating an entrepreneurial university are not present. Hence, there is a danger that SADC universities may import these commercialisation practices naïvely in an imitative manner – but without the conditions and capabilities necessary for their success. This is not to say that universities should not be enterprising or innovative in their research and their organisation, with a focus on issues pertaining to sustainable development. There is some debate about alternative developmental models, and these may fruitfully be pursued (Subotzky, 1999). We need to develop more contextually appropriate models of the new university within the region. SADC universities should thus be critical in the way that they adopt new models promoted by donors or development agencies. www.sarua.org We would thus caution strongly against institutions uncritically adopting new models without interrogating their potential appropriateness in local conditions. 383 6.3.2 DO pursue diﬀerentiated strategies The South African case emphasises that a ‘one-size-ﬁts all’ approach is not possible. Diﬀerentiation is University-Firm Interaction in the Region important in two senses. First, a diﬀerentiated higher education system is desirable whether within a single country or across the region. Not all universities can be research universities, and if all aspire to become research universities, the potential for mission drift is problematic for the higher education system as a whole. In SADC we need universities that oﬀer the full spectrum of ﬁelds and conduct fundamental and strategic research. We also need specialised universities that focus on critical ﬁelds, whether they be agricultural, medical or technological. We need universities conducting research to extend the frontiers of knowledge, particularly in relation to the developmental challenges of Sub-Saharan Africa, but we also need universities conducting research to apply and adapt existing knowledge to our context, or developing graduates who can ﬁnd solutions in their context of application. The distance education universities, which ﬁll the key function of extending access, have grown rapidly and have a key role. By extension, universities may interact with ﬁrms in a wide range of tacit and explicit ways, depending on their individual strengths, capabilities and orientation. Second, diﬀerentiated strategies for intervention are desirable within countries and across the region. Universities with distinct historical trajectories and capacities respond in diﬀerent ways to the new demands, and this is positive. We identiﬁed three groups of SADC universities with similar conditions and scales of interaction. Those with a relatively larger scale of interaction will require diﬀerent intervention strategies than those that have only isolated instances, as will universities focused on technology compared to universities taking a more traditional approach. We thus propose a diﬀerentiated strategy for intervention that builds on strengths and capacities and ensures variation and balance across the higher education system. 6.3.3 DO pursue responsive curriculum restructuring across all disciplines The survey demonstrated that the most common form of interaction reported is tacit, in the provision of graduates who work in ﬁrms. Such interaction is related to the core teaching role and orientation of the SADC universities. There is a great deal of space to strengthen and enhance the responsiveness of universities to the needs of local ﬁrms, and their interaction in relation to high-level skills and human resources development. There are examples in the study of ways to do so – cases where ﬁrms serve on faculty or departmental advisory boards to inform such processes, where universities include periods of work placement in their degree programmes, or where they develop co-operative learning programmes with ﬁrms. 384 A recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) review (2007) of the national system of innovation in South Africa highlighted the importance of building a stronger Study Series 2008 foundation of what they call design, engineering and project management competence and capability to support incremental innovation in ﬁrms. The large number of enrolments in the ﬁeld of commerce in the SADC universities is potentially signiﬁcant in this regard. This is a salutary reminder that all the disciplines and ﬁelds in a university are potentially important, and a narrow focus on science and technology is problematic. We caution against throwing the baby out with the bathwater, however, against a narrow linking of university curricula to immediate ﬁrm agendas that can undermine their critical knowledge generating role. SADC universities play a renewed critical role in developing high-level skilled graduates oriented to the changing needs of the labour market, and this needs attention in relation to their primary focus on teaching. We would thus propose support for curriculum restructuring across the board, in terms of the demands of a knowledge economy and local development needs. 6.3.4 DO pursue consultancies and contracts, but as part of a coherent institutional strategy A second form of interaction that already exists on a moderate scale is consultancy research for ﬁrms. It will be easier to intensify this form of interaction than to develop entirely new unfamiliar forms. The South African case illustrates a wide scale of consultancies, and they have been important in a number of ways. For instance, they subvent salaries and serve to retain staﬀ. Most importantly for the SADC countries, these consultancies form a ﬁrst link with ﬁrms that can develop more substantially in the future. They provide a basis for ﬁrms and academics to learn to work together, and may lead to more long-term, better funded and more knowledge-intensive collaborative research. The disadvantage is that consultancies tend to beneﬁt individuals, not the institutions. Consultancies can divert staﬀ energy and attention, and they are typically driven by agendas other than academic ones. Many universities thus have mechanisms to regulate, record and monitor all consultancies so that they can operate to institutional, and not just individual, beneﬁt (Kruss, 2006). www.sarua.org Similarly, contract research may bring in much needed funding for laboratories and postgraduate students, but research agendas are typically set by ﬁrms, and they may control proprietary knowledge and prevent academic publication. Again, the terms of contracts have been regulated and monitored by some universities through dedicated interface mechanisms, namely contracts oﬃces. 385 Consultancies and contracts can be used to beneﬁt the university if the potential ‘excesses’ are controlled, either at faculty or central university level. One key dimension that needs greater attention University-Firm Interaction in the Region and heightened awareness in the SADC universities is the need for an intellectual property rights framework that acts in the interests of the universities and their academics when dealing with ﬁrms. The experience of South Africa is also that such forms of interaction need to be recognised in university incentive schemes and performance appraisal systems, if they are to become widespread. We propose that universities pursue consultancies and contracts as part of a concerted institutional strategy and that these should be regulated by a university contracts oﬃce so that they act to institutional, and not simply individual, beneﬁt. 6.3.5 DO build research capacity It is becoming a truism that science and technology and research capacity needs to be developed in the SADC universities with urgency, a claim that is reinforced by the institutional data gathered for the study. In relation to university-ﬁrm interaction, the South African case reiterates that those universities with the strongest research capability and strong niche areas with critical mass of researchers have been most successful in pursuing interaction that works in the long-term interest of the university. Focusing on a few well-selected niche areas is critical in a context of limited research resources, rather than spreading resources too thinly over a wider range of areas. Although it is still in its infancy, it seems that one of the most successful initiatives to promote research in South Africa has been a programme to fund high-status research chairs on a large scale across the national university system. The award of a research chair must be related to university priority research niche areas; it is accompanied by postgraduate scholarships, by research funding and by relief from high teaching loads, in an attempt to build a critical mass of expertise and enhance research productivity. Such capacity-building initiatives are required on a wider scale and may militate against the imposition and negative impact of foreign-led research agendas. We propose a focus on building research capability in selected niche areas so that critical mass can be built in a university and research agendas can be informed by local developmental needs. 6.3.6 DO pursue regional collaboration One way in which critical mass and research strengths can be built is through regional collaboration. There are not suﬃcient resources to build the research infrastructure and capacity required in each university or in all 14 countries. Currently, there are proposals for regional centres of excellence and competence that would share equipment, students and scientists across a local region (see Muchie, 2008 for example). 386 The SADC universities report strongest collaboration with other local universities. This is a positive factor that needs to be exploited in terms of building research capacity and infrastructure, using resources Study Series 2008 most eﬀectively and facilitating knowledge exchange. In this light, the fact that NEPAD initiatives do not have a signiﬁcant reach in the universities requires attention. The extent of collaboration with public research institutions suggests a key potential node for building collaboration across regions that can be more eﬀectively exploited. The strong existing local collaboration lays a sound basis for building regional centres of competence and technology platforms. One such instance is a Carnegie Foundation programme, the Regional Initiative in Science and Education, through which it recently funded three regional university networks, including universities from South Africa, Malawi, Namibia and Tanzania (http://allafrica.com/stories/200807310171.html). The survey showed that collaboration with foreign universities tends to exist only in isolated instances, but we have seen the key role that links with France can play in the case of the University of Mauritius, for example. The role of foreign universities in building capacity is potentially signiﬁcant, but of course, it depends on the terms of such arrangements and the extent to which they involve knowledge sharing and transfer, or to which research agendas are driven by foreign agendas or are simply income- generating programmes for the university in the developed countries. The question is how best to build collaborative research networks, and what the ideal mechanisms would be, given existing initiatives such as NEPAD, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Association of African Universities and those of foreign donor foundations. We thus propose that SARUA investigate the most eﬃcient mechanisms to build collaborative research networks between groups of neighbouring countries and across the region, to create regional centres of excellence and regional technology platforms. 6.3.7 DO pursue knowledge sharing between ﬁrms and universities In the perception of the universities in the sample, the greatest obstacle to pursuing interaction is that universities and ﬁrms lack knowledge and understanding of one another. This is a critical point. Pursuing interaction in a naïve and uninformed manner can lead to disaster for universities and for ﬁrms. There is little point of universities setting up elaborate interface structures without a thorough scan of the key industrial sectors and potential demand in their immediate location as well as www.sarua.org nationally or regionally. Universities need to develop the capacity to analyse the demand side, to base their strategic focus on the possible demand from enterprises – but without a narrow link between their research strategy and the immediate needs of industrial sectors. We can suggest many possibilities to promote general understanding. The ﬁrst relates to the need for a coherent university strategy and an identiﬁable interface structure with which ﬁrms can engage. 387 This provides the basis for various forms of promotion of university expertise and capability on oﬀer. There is also potential for a university-industry forum for knowledge exchange, whether on a regular University-Firm Interaction in the Region or intermittent basis. Industrial sectors have distinct requirements and demands of universities, and industry associations, agricultural bodies or professional associations may be important conduits for interaction. We thus propose that SARUA pursue mechanisms to promote knowledge exchange between universities and ﬁrms. 6.3.8 DO conduct more research Indeed, we have focused on universities in the study, but clearly, a great deal more research is required on the nature of ﬁrms, their propensity and practices in relation to interaction in diﬀerent sectors in each country. We need a better understanding of the national system of innovation and the levels of economic and technological development in each country in key sectors. Such understanding is critical to inform the strategies and work of universities. Moreover, our analysis of universities is based on limited data, and a more thorough investigation of policy and practice at each university is required to assist strategic planning in each institution. In particular, data on the academic disciplines and industrial sectors in relation to which there is strong or isolated interaction were fragmented and not usable for systematic analysis. 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