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Corporate University Partnerships Enrich Development Opportunities
It is not a new phenomenon for corporate organizations to turn to universities to help develop their people. However, new research from the University of South Australia suggests that universities are not doing as much as they could to nurture and attract
It is not a new phenomenon for corporate organizations to turn to universities to help develop their people. However, new research from the University of South Australia suggests that universities are not doing as much as they could to nurture and attract these types of partnerships.
Interim research findings show that 53 percent of respondents from public and private companies as well as government entities recognize that university-corporate partnerships are a valuable part of an organization’s future direction and strategic development. Some 29 percent, however, say that while such relationships are valuable, involved parties don’t realize the potential or the real value of the partnership. “Those who are really committed are getting great results,” said Lindsay Ryan, director of strategic partnerships, University of South Australia. “Others are saying, ‘Yeah it’s good, but there’s a lot more that we can do with it.’ I guess this is a matter of universities building rapport with corporations and government, taking the time to understand what the organizations are and what they’re trying to achieve. One of the main concerns that corporations had is that universities aren’t taking the time to get to know them.”
Ryan said that the rapid growth of corporate learning organizations over the past 10 to 15 years has made universities an underutilized resource by corporations and governments. Initial research suggests that growth was stimulated because traditional universities weren’t meeting corporate needs. Some 21 percent of organizations that participated in the research said they established corporate universities to build their employees’ skills and competencies relevant to organizational strategy, which offers universities a golden opportunity to leverage their higher education platforms to meet enterprise education needs. Unfortunately, Ryan said that universities are often hampered by institutionalized thinking and are too slow in their response to meet corporate requests. Further, university offerings are often ill-matched to meet the learning demands of businesses actively competing in the global marketplace. And, corporate entities may not have their information, communication and technology working together so that learning offered today in New York, for example, can easily be replicated tomorrow in Sydney or in London.
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