Higher Education in Kenya has received a major boost following the elevation into an autonomous University of Kimathi University College of Technology that has been under the mentorship of JKUAT for the last six years, increasing the number of public universities in Kenya to eight. Dedan Kimathi University of Technology; the brand new University becomes the first institution of higher learning to benefit from the ‘Universities Act 2012’ that President Kibaki signed into law, Thursday, December 13, 2012. It is the same Act that the President used a day later to grant a charter that transformed the former University College to a full fledged University, named after Dedan Kimathi, one of Kenya’s leading freedom fighters and heroic figurehead of the Mau Mau uprising, who waged fierce resistance against British colonial rule in Kenya in the 1950’s.
Speaking at the ceremony, Friday December 14, 2012 in Nyeri, where the new University is located, President Kibaki announced the new Act would be instrumental in providing a robust environment and equal playing field particularly in accreditation and quality assurance of university education in Kenya. The President announced 14 more university colleges are to be elevated in due course to autonomous universities.
The President used the occasion to challenge universities to find ways of transforming research findings into useful innovations that he said would lead to the development of useful goods and services to improve Kenyans livelihoods. ‘That way, our people will appreciate that science and research are useful tools for development and will, in turn, accord them greater support’. He paid glowing tribute to JKUAT, represented at the ceremony by Prof. Francis Gichaga, the Chancellor, Eng. Julius Riungu, Council Chairman and Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the Vice Chancellor for successfully guiding ‘the institution over the last five years as one of its constituent colleges’
Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Prof. Margaret Kamar, invited the country’s universities to be vanguards of creativity and innovation since the higher education sector in Kenya was ‘now embracing a culture of science, technology and innovation’
Delivering JKUAT goodwill message during the occasion attended by Mrs. Mukami Kimathi, widow of Dedan Kimathi, Prof. Imbuga, pledged JKUAT will walk with Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in their journey of self discovery ‘whose ultimate goal should be anchored on Kenya’s development aspirations’