- Dr Mathuki also noted that universities, not just in Kenya but the region, should be focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
- This he said, will in turn play part in solving challenges that the world is grappling with today.
Mount Kenya University on Friday held its 22nd graduation, during which the university said it's evaluating the possibilities of opening campuses in Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The university currently operates in Kenya and Rwanda but has in the past expressed interest in expanding and opening up more campuses in other countries across the East African Community member states.
MKU founder and chairman Prof Simon Gicharu said the institution is mulling opening campuses in the different countries.
EAC secretary general Dr Peter Mathuki who was the chief guest during the graduation ceremony where more than 4,500 students graduated, had challenged MKU to consider venturing across the EAC partner states.
“With your (EAC) support and considering the new leadership in Tanzania, we hope to reach out to the Tanzanian community, as well as to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, so that we can give them access to higher education and contribute to the EAC integration effort,” Prof Gicharu said.
MKU operates an office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The office, which was opened after the university's entry into Burundi and Uganda, will serve as a Virtual Varsity coordinating centre and marketing office for its programmes.
He added that the EAC has recently grown to seven partner states after the DRC joined the bloc, expanding the market to one that now has 300 million people.
“(This) provides opportunity to those looking for opportunities either in the service or goods industries,” said Dr Mathuki, further challenging MKU to set up institutions in more of the EAC countries,” he said.
“From the outset, I invited MKU to open branches across the entire East Africa to continue developing capacity for the citizens of the East Africa.”
Dr Mathuki also noted that universities, not just in Kenya but the region, should be focused on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which in turn would play part in solving challenges that the world is grappling with today.
“Looking through the events that are taking place across the world today, glaring inequalities are so evident. Universities are called to contribute towards ending these inequalities through their triple-mandate of teaching, research and community outreach,” he said, commending MKU which was recently been named a hub for reducing inequalities by a United Nations agency.
“More specifically, every university must contribute towards creation of awareness of the 17 SDGs 2030 and ensure all university activities are directed towards the achievement of the goals. I congratulate Mount Kenya University for having been bestowed upon the responsibility of serving as the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) Hub for SDG No. 10 on Reduced Inequalities. This is an achievement which comes with a lot of responsibilities and expectations on what the university ought to institutionalise to achieve this mandate.”
Dr Mathuki added that universities need to establish strategic facilities such as innovation and incubation hubs. Other facilities are dedicated university-based foundations and gender desks all of which should be fully utilised to support every university in achieving their mission.
In addition to considerations of setting more branches in the region, MKU said it has been upping the quality of its campuses in the region.
Vice chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi said these include its campus in Nakuru as well as MKU Rwanda.
“Nakuru campus has been fully developed as a centre of excellence in animal health, agriculture, and education science. This initiative has resulted in an increase in student enrolment, programmes, and academic and research resources. Recently, the campus received the best training and research equipment to support training in agriculture, animal health and production, and education science programmes,” he said.
“Mount Kenya University Rwanda has specialised in hospitality and tourism training among other programmes. This can be witnessed by the ongoing construction of the five-star hotel in Kigali, Rwanda.”
“Indeed, this will be one of its kind in the region that will create a platform for hands-on learning to students and also give them internships opportunities,” he said.