1 University of Dar es Salaam (TANZANIA)
2 Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (SWEDEN)
3 Qassim University (TUNISIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 8158-8166
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.2185
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
The industry-academia cooperation to solve the real-life problems facing the societies of which the industry and academia are serving is a common phenomenon in developed economies and even to some of the middle-income countries. The challenges with such cooperation come from the level of trust that the industries have in the capacity of academia to solve their technical and scientific challenges. These challenges are vividly observable in low-income countries where large multinational companies having franchisees in these countries do not prefer local experts from academic institutions but rather engage such services from developed countries. The same applies to local companies and industries, public institutions and government agencies. The challenge does not come from the incompleteness of the academia to solve such challenges, but from the long perceived stigma that academia solutions are merely theoretical and cannot be realized in practice. This may have been perpetrated by the way academia have been conducting their research and development projects. Conventionality, academia identified a challenge for industry and started working on perceived solution to the change from start to finish just to find a nice work prototype mismatch the actual operational environment and conditions. The importance of the cooperation with the industries was only a concept which was never realized. It is important that the cooperation is emphasized early to avoid the current situation of not recognizing the potentials, and/or using the local academia multidisciplinary capacity. The challenge is how to make academia to effectively engage with local industries for the mutual benefits of both parties in low-income countries. Hence, challenge driven learning (CDL) is perceived as a possible way forward. To that effect, postgraduate course for MSc and PhD programme was introduced specifically to use challenge driven education approach. It is a project based course focused on building capacity in group/team work and multidisciplinary engagement to reflect demands for addressing a real life challenge. The challenge to the students which was systematically chosen inefficient and ineffective methods/systems used to clear faults which occur in different parts of the electrical power system network, either reported or observed by the utility company staff. The students, therefore, worked to develop solutions to facilitate efficient fault clearance jointly with utility company staff involved design, innovation, workshops with stakeholders, site visits and feedback from stakeholders. The regular involvement of the key stakeholder user, the utility company, was perceived as a means to promote and strengthen industry-academia cooperation in low-income countries. The Question is how can academia win trust from industries in low-income countries that they can solve their real-life problems? This paper adopts the perspective of challenge driven learning (CDL) methodology using a project based course in a postgraduate program as a tool. The validation data for this paper are based on inputs from the PhD and Masters CDL attending the course and the utility company staff. Based on the literature review, student’s iterative designs based on student’s presentations to client and to other stakeholders in workshops, complimentary site visits to study the actual situation on the ground and environment the students refined their designs and implementation strategies.
Low-income countries, Problem Based Learning, Industry-academia cooperation, methodology, pedagogical, client, trust-profile.