Regional varsities urged to tackle unemployment

EALA Members during the interactive session in Zanzibar.

The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) has called on universities in the region to transform research and publications into solutions to the unemployment challenge in the East African Community (EAC).

IUCEA is an institution of the EAC responsible for development and coordination of higher education and research across the bloc.

“What do you do with the solution you’ve found after research and publication? Universities should partner with governments, private sector and civil society to put things in practice,” Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje IUCEA Executive Secretary told participants at the East African Higher Education Quality Assurance Network (EAQAN) held in Entebbe, Uganda yesterday.

Lyambabaje also told participants that there is an urgent need for universities to reduce on the huge number of classroom students in Universities, saying this compromises the quality of graduates produced.  

Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje, the Executive Secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa, addresses EALA Members during the session in Zanzibar. Courtesy photos.

“It becomes very hard to evaluate 400 students in a classroom. Evaluation needs to be revisited in line with the number of participants in classes so that incentives for them to study become affordable and efficient,” he added.

Joseph Mukasa, a Ugandan student in Tanzania, wondered why some partner states still treat students from other EAC countries as international students, by charging exorbitantly in US dollars.

Lyambabaje said there are ongoing efforts to have a one fee structure model for the whole East African region.

Regional analysts have in the past observed that the trend of doing business had now changed, calling for concerted efforts in producing graduates that were able to compete in the new environment.