Gap # 2 Industry-Academia Gap
The industrial sector and academia showed so many gaps related to 3 main themes: (1) curriculum gaps, (2) perceptual importance gap, and (3) collaboration structure (see Fig. 7.4).
Curriculum gaps: To realize Qatar’s vision of providing full potential, highly qualified workforce, students must be able to move easily between education curricula and workplace requirements. No longer can education pathways be considered a linear stand-alone progression without mutual collaboration between industrial sectors and institutions, so industry-integrated curricula was needed. Also, industry pointed out the presence of curriculum gaps mainly in practical experience which they pointed the importance of having practice-integrated model of education to meet the skill requirements of a more diversified economy.
Perceptual importance gap: The interest of both academia and industry in having highly qualified graduates equipped with a set of skills and competencies showed some gaps as per the interest of each group whereby academia’s main interest was in the theoretical educational knowledge, while those of industry focus more on the practical hands-on skills. Gaps in practical skills were highlighted significantly by industry, indicating dissatisfaction with current hands-on experience of recent graduates. Also, innovation and design skills importance highlighted by the academia but not emphasized by those of the industry.
Collaboration structures: A statistically significant gap was revealed in the level of importance of having academia-industry collaboration. The industrial
Fig. 7.4 Industry-academia situational gap
sector emphasized the importance of collaboration more than those in academia. Both groups pointed out the lack of organizational/structural office/unit to coordinate joint activities. Industry emphasized more on the university structure that was not adapted to the needs of industrial collaborations and faculty members emphasized more on lack of autonomy to work with industry pointing out the need of Co-R&D.