Arusha — PROVIDING space for democratization of students' governance and developing their leadership programmes has been singled out as a crucial requisite to solve crises in higher learning institutions and creating strong future national leaders.
The recommendations are contained in a paper on student's governance and democratization of universities presented during the fourth higher education forum that ended in Arusha over the weekend. The paper is co-authored by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance at Mzumbe University, Prof Faustin Kamuzora and the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam, Prof Yunus Mgaya.
"This is considered essential since the world is continually getting complex," Prof Kamuzora, who presented the paper at the forum, said. He said that it is a requirement that individuals and leaders with skills and knowledge should roam intellectually, to negotiating turbulence, manage ambiguity, develop understanding and manage connectivity and complexity so as to be able to succeed in challenging environments and situations.
It was presented at a two day forum prepared by the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals, Tanzania (CVCPT) in collaboration with Trust Africa. He noted that if universities have to attain their noble missions, which include fostering socioeconomic development of the citizens, developing leadership skills and competence of the students such as emotional intelligence, self-efficacy, and self-confidence must be one of their key agendas.
"This is because most of the student leaders end up becoming society leaders in addition to ensuring the smooth running of the universities during their leadership tenure as student leaders in universities," he said. Giving examples, he said that some student's leaders who held leadership positions in previous students' government at the University of Dar es Salaam are currently holding high positions in various political parties including the ruling party Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) and the Civic United Front (CUF).
"Their political or administrative careers began by contesting and practicing democratic systems when they were student leaders at universities," he said. He explained that there is a need also to critically evaluate how to control a number of influences from the external environment which are affecting university students' leadership.
The paper has revealed that one of the success factors of students' leadership is the self-efficacy or previous leadership experience a leader has accumulated over time. "There is a need for the universities without proper students' development leadership programmes to design and start them," he said.
Earlier, the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, who was guest of honour, called upon stakeholders of higher education including students, management of universities and all institutions supporting higher education to work together and produce the best results.
The theme for this year's forum was Good Governance for Sustainable Quality University Education in Tanzania. CVCPT was established under section 53 of the Universities Act, No.7 of 2005. Members of CVCPT include Vice Chancellors, Principals and Provosts of all public and private universities and university colleges and the Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU).