To revamp student achievements and efforts in decision making program regarding current and research-based information, School-University research collaboration presents one of the finest strategies. However, this equation isn\’t as much straightforward as it seems because of the contrast in organizational structures, values, objectives, prior collaborative experiences and consequently these factors have made it more challenging. The purpose of the article to configure all the structures, mechanisms, approaches, and conditions that have led to a successful collaboration and it also highlights the challenges that usually come across. The example of Pittsburg\’s school\’s partnership with local universities on research projects such as developing a curriculum or computational thinking, the creation of \”LeanLabs\” and to pursue the STEM fields by students to diversify access to universities, can interpret this collaboration benefits. One kind of collaboration between university and school is that where students are sent to schools for practice or in-service students staying at their own school works on the projects or on some occasions university staff is summoned to facilitate the school workshops or to supervise the projects. For instance, at Makerere University four avenues are sent to school for field attachment. In Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA) project materials, a qualitative based research paradigm was followed through a case study of this university. The central theme of this case study was to get a wealthy information on the small sample of academic staff, school teachers and administrators while addressing the research question of the study.
High school-university collaborative research for OKEON Chramori Project is also another bright example of understanding such research partnerships. OKEON strongly integrates the community institutions, OIST researchers, high schools and museums in its research collaborations all over the Okinawa. This win-win collaboration encourages a self-sustainable system.
The School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI) initiated by Research Councils UK (RCUK) started in 2013, engaged young people with research clearly indicates that how teachers and university researchers work together to bring the research into the classrooms. The chief objective was to create structured, strategic, sustainable and equitable mechanisms for school-university engagement. To coordinate the SUPI network and to provide the support for the projects, the National Coordinating Center for Public Engagement (NCCPE) was appointed. This resource including researchers teachers and university staff proved to be great planning and talking tool to develop effective partnerships.
In terms of benefits, one conspicuous finding is by a closer working correlation, the academic staff and teachers have changed their teaching method and learners have alerted their learning practices. By the emphasis on collaborative, cooperative and group work, these findings are possibly encouraged in teachers training as an approach to active teaching and learning strategy.
Another aspect that must be kept in account while addressing school-university partnerships is the challenges that come across in order to diagnose this research collaboration. One expected factor is the lack of appropriate resources to run the necessary collaborative activities and this has been identified as the major challenge of the collaboration. Together with the government policies, the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program has small funding resources for school activities and thus it is not possible for a huge number of students (above 60 or 70 say) in schools to have proper quantities of learning materials. Another challenge is the time to fit collaboration activities into the busy schedule of the school teachers. The monitoring of the project to check on the school mentors may be troublesome if not planned adequately and this shortage of time can lead to many problems. In addition, minimum exposure of academic staff to TESSA materials and their low use cause another challenge. These challenges have revealed obstacles and barriers to university-school collaboration that hinder the growth of institutions and their physical and human resource. To cope with these challenges, adequate funds and resources must be ensured to sustain the activities associated with collaboration and time needs to be opened up for effective partnerships.