Mount Kenya University has signed partnership with two American Universities to team up in various academic and research projects, MKU chancellor Prof Victoria Wells Wulsin has revealed. Speaking while presiding over MKU fifth graduation ceremony last Friday at the site of the proposed Ksh 3 Billion new MKU main campus at Landless/Happy valley estate just opposite the 12th Engineer Battalion of the Thika – Garissa Highway, Prof Wulsin said MKU recently signed partnership with Xavier and University of Cincinnati Universities. Prof Wulsin said the research partnerships will be geared towards generating findings that will be used for policy formulation and implementation in Kenya.
The Chancellor said University of Cincinnati has put global education at the heart of its mission. As part of its strategic plan, the University of Cincinnati has focused on students taking globally-engaged courses and participating in service-learning, particularly in international settings. She said Mount Kenya University has already demonstrated its commitment to service-learning through corporate social responsibility. “One of our partners has been SOTENI International, which works to prevent HIV/AIDS and mitigate its effects among orphans and other vulnerable populations, here in Kenya. Mount Kenya University was instrumental in establishing SOTENI’s work in Kuria District,” said Prof Wulsin. She said SOTENI has provided service-learning for students from the University of Cincinnati and other Universities from around the world, including Harvard, Duke, and the University of Indiana in the US; Cambridge in the UK, and others. Mount Kenya University now has the opportunity to work with the University of Cincinnati and SOTENI to meld together our dedication to the highest standards of education with our pledge to corporate social responsibility. “The Mount Kenya University Collaborative with the University of Cincinnati benefits students, faculty, and the communities on both sides of the Atlantic. When the Mount Kenya University Delegation, including Chairman Gicharu, Dr Ramani, and myself, spent a week at the University of Cincinnati, we found consistent enthusiasm – from undergraduate students all the way to the President of the University of Cincinnati himself.
The University of Cincinnati recognizes that they have as much to gain from our partnership as we have to gain from working with them,” said Prof Wulsin. She added, “Mount Kenya University is continuing to expand its international partnerships. Just last month, Chairman Gicharu signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Xavier University, based in Ohio, USA. The Xavier Business School is ranked 19th among hundreds of accredited Schools of Business in the US. Like the UC, Xavier recognizes that its students and faculty have much to gain from working with Mount Kenya University.” The guest of Honour, James Musoni, Rwanda Minister for Local Government hailed MKU for producing graduands who had skills, competences, knowledge and innovation to promote Kenya, Rwanda and the region at large in Development Agenda. “MKU is truly delivering the region to scaling the height of Development and Integration.
He said products of MKU were job creators and not job seekers who are up to the task of global market opportunities competition,” said the Minister. Musoni welcomed Kenyan and regional investors to go for palatable investment in Rwanda where MKU, KCB and EQUITY BANK are enjoying a conducive investment climate and incentives. Musoni was accompanied by President Paul Kagame political adviser Prof. Nsuti. The university pro chancellor Chacha called on the Government to ensue the high number of the first bunch of the free primary education program who sat for K.C.S.E last year join higher education institutions by reviewing fees and admission system. He said most of the students quest for higher education may be hampered by poverty hovering in their houses he said the Government ought to increase HELB. He said in order to realize vision 2030, more Kenyans especially those from poor families get access to higher education. He said towards this end, MKU has put measures by introducing flexible and affordable fees. Chacha said the University was spending Ksh 10 million annually to provide scholarship to needy and unfortunate students to pursue their dreams. He said already the University has released the first scholarship of Ksh 10 M for 15 beneficiaries drawn from all over the country. He said MKU is ISO compliant. This he said meant the university had enhanced efficiency and service delivery. He said plans to open campuses in all Counties were underway for national and Regional Development. Kiambu Governor William Kabogo said MKU was one of the biggest investments in the county.
In a speech read on his behalf, by his Deputy G. Githinji, Kabogo said the County would create conducive environment for investment. Kabogo said his Government had a business challenge fund that will sponsor 200 entrepreneurs to start their business and support 240 small business operator to the tune of Ksh 150 million. The contestants for the fund will complete and the best will business ideas will qualify. He said this would create jobs and boost County Economy. He noted that 70% of Kiambu youth were jobless. During the occasion Abigael Ndinda a clinical student was awarded a community award for his environmental conservation efforts. She is the pioneer winner of the Wangari Mathaai environmental scholarship award. Joseph Karimoni Maina was awarded the Vice Chancellor award for his sterling creativity in photography which earned him the Amnesty International Poverty and Human Right Award. Each of the award winners was given a token of Ksh 100,000 by the University.
The occasion was attended by several Mps, Senators, Senior Government officials, Ambassadors and a cross section of leaders from all walks of life. MKU showed its might when around 50,000 people flooded the town and caused heavy traffic jam that paralyzed transport along all the roads entering and going out of the industrial town. Commuters were stranded for hours. Business operators went laughing to the bank due to their booming business. All guest houses were full by Thursday afternoon. Some of the visitors were forced to sleep in the cold while others slept in vehicles. Over 12,000 students graduated during the ceremony presided over by MKU Chancellor Prof Victoria Wells Wulsin.