No country in the world is changing fast enough to be sustainable. However, by efficiently partner with universities and the private sector on the local, regional, national and international level, the quality and speed of change can significantly increase within existing budgets and timeframe.
The governments have a massive responsibility for societal development, stability and welfare. The resources are not enough to fulfil the crucial work on achieving the Global Sustainability Goals within the necessary projected time. No country in the world is changing fast enough to be sustainable. However, by efficiently partner with universities and the private sector on the local, regional, national and international level, the quality and speed of change can significantly increase within existing budgets and timeframe.
Many universities’ research/thesis work does not align to high-level goals like the SDGs and are not coordinated beyond isolated individual projects. But universities have resources for R&D which could be used for free and already today in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals globally. The completion rates and quality of theses could be improved as well as the number of students admitted. The student expectations, as well as businesses and societal demand for skilled graduates, is high in demand and rapidly increasing. The university – business collaboration is not optimal in most countries, leading to less relevant academic output from a business point of view. The lack of efficient university – business matching mechanisms is an obstacle to innovations and R&D.
An efficient global matching system for society related problems connecting university students and supervisors is lacking. Additionally supervisors are already overloaded. How can they cope with a forecasted 200% increase of student volumes without losing quality control?
In order to graduate, it is mandatory for students to do an independent thesis (bachelor, master, PhD) which means applying research methods to a real-world problem. There is no specific thesis support system managing and evaluating the thesis process. Usually the thesis course should take ten weeks (bachelor), 20 weeks (master) or four years (PhD) to finish, but many studies report up to 50% students drop out and delays up to several years before completion in the present system. A huge loss, personally, for the universities as well as for the society at large.
OTHER ENTITIES – COMPANIES, NGOs
Companies have problems that need research and development, but they lack researchers since they can not afford R&D units, especially SMEs. Furthermore, the business sector often complains that students’ skills and competences are not enough aligned to company requirements. Businesses are often not enough aligned to the SDG work or university activities, which is a loss for societal development towards sustainability. If a business is not aligned to the Global Development Goals, it will not be profitable in the long run.