Biotechnology education and societal demands: challenges faced by biotechnology and human resources development
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to highlight the social responsibility of universities and other higher education institutes in meeting the challenges faced by biotechnology and human resource development. Design/methodology/approach - The challenges faced by biotechnology are discussed under three broad heads – exponential growth in biotechnology knowledge, commercialization and industrialization of the biotechnologies, and knowledge integration by various stakeholders of biotechnology. Findings - The emergence of the knowledge society warrants that universities ensure that overall work of the academy is more relevant to the nation's most pressing civic, social, economic and moral problems and that there is an urgent need to have a fresh look at the approaches followed in biotechnology education and training, particularly with reference to developing countries. It is necessary to see how the different players (industries, university, society, government) concerned with biotechnology can act in unison and in a mutually beneficial way. An integrated approach to the field of biotechnology combining different subject areas is necessary and the courses and approach should reflect this. Originality/value - Career counselors and those engaged in educational guidance are flooded with inquiries about biotechnology courses and their scope. It is observed, on the one hand, that the biotechnology field is starved of talent and, on the other hand, that there are several universities/colleges, particularly in developing countries, producing large numbers of unemployable graduates. Some serious thinking needs to be done urgently to overcome this problem.
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Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
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