Roles of a University in National Development
With the above understanding of the bane of national development in Africa coupled with our understanding of the primordial function of a university as the production of educated citizens or high-level manpower equipped with appropriate skills to fulfill defined roles in the number required by society, we can now address the question of how universities can affectively respond to pressing national developmental needs while at the same time remain faithful to their primordial functions.
Taking a cue from Plato’s idea of justice, the overall wellbeing of society is predicated on each individual, class and social institution focusing on the function he or she is specialized in, and in a harmonious cooperation with one another.
|Roles of a University in National Development|
The principle of division of labour is central in this. This suggests that for social development to be achieved in society, individuals, classes and institutions must focus on the functions that they are specifically trained and equipped for, and also maintain a harmonious relationship with others without interfering in their areas of specialization in society.
Bringing the above considerations to bear directly on the role of the university in national development, it follows that universities would be in a position to contribute more effectively to national development if they concentrate on those functions they are designed and equipped to carry out while they maintain a harmonious relationship with other social institutions without interfering in their areas of specialisation.
The rationale of this position is better appreciated if it is considered against the background of the problems of competence and functional overload identified earlier with regards to the idea of a developmental university. The developmental university is faced with the problem of competence in the sense that it embarks upon developmental tasks for which it is not specifically trained and equipped.
The challenge of functional overload hinders a developmental university from being maximally productive with regards to both its traditional functions and its developmental pursuits.
The university as a social institution that provides the highest level of formal education, traditionally, is designed and equipped to produce educated citizens and high-level manpower equipped with appropriate skills required for social development.
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