Plugging Holes in the University Systems for National Developments in the Knowledge Economy Context: Experiences from Tanzania
Keywords:University, Development, Research in Tanzania, university system, Knowledge economy
AbstractThis paper highlights the knowledge economy as a binding particle and a missing link for State, University, and Industries relation. It aimed at answering a question on implications of globalization and research use in policy processes on the current university-state relations. The theoretical framework guiding this discussion is on the stakeholders’ theory. Its methodological philosophy is built of the interpretive paradigm using interpretive theory. As a qualitative study, it employed document analysis supported by detailed interviews, and data analysis was done through thematic, content, and discourse analysis. The discussion builds on the proposition that supporting university-based research, is considered to be an important element in the strategies to promote and sustain economic growth. Findings indicate an increasing demand for research-based information for policy purposes. Globalization forces has posed both challenges and opportunities in research use as well as university-state relations. Research skills which was traditionally housed in the universities, are now seen in non-university institutions while universities are more pulled into teaching as result of higher education massification. In both qualitative and quantitative terms research is seen to be concentrated away from universities making universities less relevant partner in policy processes. It was concluded therefore that globalization has improved information search and access mechanisms, however operational traditions and frameworks in this context is making it difficult for state-university relations. The study recommends that the university-state relation be improved need among other things to consider plugging holes in the operation frameworks.