Kenyatta University has established a foundation that has been registered in the USA making it the first in the country to do so, the University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olive Mugenda has said.
Prof Mugenda who was speaking during the university’s 30th graduation ceremony said the Kenyatta University Foundation which is a non – profit entity is meant to advance the University by generating financial and material support from its alumni, friends, other partners and individuals in the diaspora and the private sector.
She explained that plans are underway to officially launch the Foundation in Boston Massachusetts soon, adding that this will blend well with their idea of starting a Business Innovation and Incubation Centre (BIIC) which has become a reality.
BIIC is an “initiative that has been started to help our students become entrepreneurs. We will give them space, provide internet and seed money for them to start their business. Their products will then be rolled in the market place between six months and one year,” the VC said.
The key partners of the BIIC project are the Chandaria Foundation, National Council for Science and Technology, Youth Enterprise fund, Telecom, Family Bank and the University of West Ontario in Canada.
“The launch of the incubation Centre will be on Friday, 8th July,” she said as she presented a total of 2062 candidates for the conferment and award of various certificates, diplomas and degrees.
The university is spreading its wings to encompass more disciplines – a policy driven bythe government’s Vision 2030. Apart from offering an Engineering “infrastructure to be used for various sub–disciplines of engineering”, the university is creating a referral hospital with a tele–medicine facility. This program will enable doctors to consult with their peers in reputable hospitals around the world for second opinions.
The hospital aims to reduce the need for treatment abroad as the tele–medicine facility will connect doctors at the Kenyatta University Referral Hospital to doctors of rural areas in Kenya.
With regard to university admission, which has been experiencing the strain of a backlog of students since 1982, Prof Mugenda said the university has already admitted the 2009 group of students this May.
“This group of students that is currently in session was meant to report in September 2011,” she said. However, she added “their admission in May 2011 paves the way for the students who sat their KCSE exams in 2010 to be admitted to the University in September 2011.”
This strategy will help in clearing the backlog of students as public universities prepare for the high number of students expected to be admitted to university by 2015, when the first beneficiaries of Free Primary Education will be joining university.
On research, the chancellor of the university, Prof Onesimus Mutungi said they are fostering partnerships with other reputable institutions from across the world to share information and find solutions to problems that are affecting the Kenyan people.
Prof Mutungi said that they are putting all possible mechanisms in place to ensure that the quality of higher education is not compromised with the double intake. He said that higher education should foster creativity, innovativeness and entrepreneurship in those students.