Forums for Dialogue between University and Industry: A Case of Kenyatta University, Kenya and University of Padua, Italy
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Purpose – This paper aims to analyse comparatively the existing partnerships between the University of Padua and the enterprises in Veneto region, Italy, on one hand and Kenyatta University and industries in Kenya on the other. Design/methodology/approach – This was a case study of the University of Padua in Veneto Region, Italy, and Kenyatta University in Kenya. Data were collected through interviews with university leaders, a questionnaire with both close and open-ended questions for Heads and Department and Deans of Faculty as well as a close and open ended questionnaire for industry representatives. Findings – In comparison, the University of Padua has more forums and platforms through which dialogue with the industry stakeholders is enhanced, with associations like confindustria, the PARIMUN project, the Master association in addition to the alumni association, regular students' attachments and the distance learning programme. In Kenya on the other hand, Kenyatta University has partnerships through the provision of distance learning programmes, alumni associations, consultancies, incubation units and undergraduate course placements for select faculties. Practical implications – The main implication of the study is that there are many avenues through which university industry partnerships can be enhanced. These range from joint research projects between university and industry, industry input in university course implementations and feedback the supply and demand of graduates in the job market. Originality/value – The findings of this study are important to the government, university and industry stakeholders in Kenya in that they provide information on the possible forums for collaborations and the importance of these forums in provision of relevant higher education that can aid sustainable development.