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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.




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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




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                                            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




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        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.


1.2.4.1 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).


                                            1.2.4.2 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.


1.2.7.1 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




1.2.7.2 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
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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


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                                            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
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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


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                                            (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




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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
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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.




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                                            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
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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


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                                            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




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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
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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.



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                                            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




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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.




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                                            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




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    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.


                                            We thus propose that SARUA develop a regional network to extend and deepen research to support interaction.




388
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University and related websites
http://www.utm.ac.mu
http://www.nust.ac.zw
http://www.universityworldnews.com 17 August 2008
http://www.nust.ac.zw/content/view/468/522/
www.unilu.ac.cd
http://www.msu.ac.zw
http://www.udsm.ac.tz
www.uib.no/udsm/udsm/uclas
http://www.refer.mg
http://www.gibbsmagazine.com
www.mzumbe.ac.tz
www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/soe/cihe/inhea/profiles/Mozambique.htm
www.univ-mahajanga.mg
                                                                                                           www.sarua.org




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masvingo_State_University
www.uan-angola.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Kinshasa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Kisangani
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Lubumbashi



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      University-Firm Interaction in the Region




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