Universities play a key role in the development of human resource for all production sectors of the economy through training and conducting research and development for the generation, curation and dissemination of new knowledge. University research programmes are critical in the development of theoretical foundations in basic sciences that underpin applied research. A great proportion of research funding initiatives focus more on applied research, seen to generate quick gains as opposed to basic research, whose benefits are not always apparent. The research portfolio at universities has been declining over the years due to low funding and greater focus on training.
Government Departments, Agencies and partners should give priority to:
- Enhanced research portfolio and capacity at universities and research institutions to address the research agenda;
- Strengthening the existing models of linking academia, industry, community and government for effective technology transfer;
- Enhanced effectiveness of teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and assure equity in enrolment to STEM programmes at all levels of education; and
- Generating data and statistics for R&D.