Chief Administrative Secretary and Principal Secretary for University Education and Research, Prof. Collette Suda has underscored the importance of dedicated efforts towards investment in quality education if the country is to actualize the Government’s Four Pillars of development.
According to Prof. Suda, universities need to engage with both the government and industry and strive to become centres of excellence especially in manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and health care.
“No one succeeds alone. We need efforts from all the stakeholders to strategies on how best to transform our country to become a knowledge-based economy and achieve the Big Four Agenda,” explained Prof. Suda.
Addressing participants during the official opening of the 2nd Biennial Conference on the State of Higher Education in Kenya, Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Prof. Suda hailed the Commission for University Education (CUE) for staging the conference pointing out that such a forum is an excellent platform for stakeholders and policy makers to engage and share experiences as they endeavor to build the capacity of Kenyan Universities.
While imploring on researchers in universities to undertake cutting edge research, she advised them to take advantage of the resources at National Research Fund to facilitate economic, social and cultural transformation of the country.
“Universities need to identify their niche, make use of available resources and give solutions with respect to their niche,” said Prof. Suda.
The conference dubbed, “Position Universities as the Nexus of Research, Innovation and Technology Transfer for Socio-economic Transformation” brought together eminent scholars, professionals, key policy makers and industrialists to discuss pertinent issues around higher education and ways of leveraging university education in Kenya.
Commission for University Education Chairperson Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha said universities need to engage in research that resonates with the development goals of the country and understand that they are training for the industry to produce competent graduates to solve the problems facing the society.
One of the keynote speakers, Education Programme Specialist at UNESCO, Dr. Saba Bokhari indicated that for higher education to be sustainable and effective, universities need to think global.
This, she believes will facilitate knowledge and skills transfer across borders and improve the quality of research, innovation capacities and teaching.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa joined other stakeholders as they interrogated issues related to science, technology and innovation for national development; technology transfer and commercialisation of research outputs; doctoral training and research; collaborations, partnership and linkages as they forge a culture of research and innovation in the universities.