• Hostels to be built on the varsity’s Happy Valley land, Landless Estate.
• The university also plans to set up a Sh100 million endowment kitty for needy students.
Mount Kenya University will soon build 3,000 housing units in Thika to meet the rising demand for student accommodation.
Founder and chairman Simon Gicharu on Friday said the institution is on the verge of receiving Sh2.5 billion humanitarian grant from Stag-Africa.
The project comes at a time when most students joining the institution are grappling with housing problems.
"This is just one of the project among many that are geared towards improving our students’ training," he said.
The hostels will be built on the varsity’s Happy Valley land, Landless Estate. They will provide a friendly and secure learning environment.
Dr Gicharu said the project will be huge, coming second only to one that was carried out in Stellenbosch University, South Africa. It is a result of a partnership between MKU and Stag Africa and is to be approved this week.
"We'll receive a delegation from Stag Africa next week which will be led by the brother of former South Africa President Pete de Klerk. They will be here to establish and affirm what we want to do together," Gicharu said.
He spoke during the university’s 16th graduation ceremony. Some 6,666 graduands were conferred with degrees, diplomas, and certificates — two doctorates, 337 master's degrees, 115 postgraduate diplomas, 4,755 bachelor's degrees, 1,020 diplomas, and 437 certificates.
"Again, we shall be supporting exchange delegations between Stellenbosch and MKU to finalise the proposal."
The university also plans to set up a Sh100 million endowment kitty for needy students. Gicharu, himself the Patron of the Mount Kenya Foundation, said the foundation will spend Sh5 million on bursaries this semester. Students from all campuses will be considered.
"I encourage our alumni as well as our partners to support this initiative because it is really changing and impacting on the lives of needy youths seeking to further their studies," he said.
"I was really touched by the case of a student who was willing to sell one of her kidneys to pay for her school fees. This made me start this Foundation so that we can reach out to many similar cases and more needy ones."
Vice-Chancellor Stanley Waudo urged the graduands to use their knowledge and skills to make the world a better place.
"You are well equipped with knowledge and skills, go out there and fear nothing! We are confident that we have trained you how to think, never to run away from challenges, but to solve them.
"Do not seek opportunities, create opportunities! Create jobs and serve your communities. Impact and change lives, the noblest calling. Serve your country with integrity. Fear and trust God."
(Edited by F'Orieny)