“Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel’s as others see us!”
Having been immersed in the ‘business community’ for most of my working life, I tend to see the world through business eyes. I had an interesting insight into the academic world recently, however, and how they have a different perspective. I was invited to participate in a very interesting debate amongst university entrepreneurial educators and, toward the end of the discussion, there was a throwaway comment about how ‘business’ just wanted universities to do their job for them. The comment was based on the business expectation that the universities’ main function is to produce graduates that are fully trained for business careers. The academics, however, believed that businesses should be prepared to provide specific workplace training for their new employees, instead of universities being considered as a training resource for business.
Of course, in Scotland we say that we value the high quality of our universities, but I wonder if we really think about what makes them great. It’s not just about churning out ’employable’ graduates, but about creating a generation that have learnt to think for themselves and can provide the creativity and innovation that our country needs in order to be truly competitive.
Perhaps both ‘sides’ in the academic/business worlds need to understand each other a little better too. What do you think?