Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has sealed a partnership with the University of Nottingham, UK that will see the two institutions mainstream innovative methods of teaching, foster linkage with industries and enhance student and staff exchange.
The collaboration which is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through the British Council-managed Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) targets three programmes namely BSc. Public Health, BSc. Chemistry and BSc. Pharmacy.
Besides promoting North-South synergy on higher education, the initiative is further primed to spearhead curricula review for the targeted programmes in order to produce quality graduates who can better serve the needs of the industry.
The initiative also aims at fostering the capability of academic staff for better outcomes targeting women and people from underserved communities.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, University of Nottingham Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor in charge of Global Engagement, Prof. Robert Mokaya said the collaboration will also rope in a number industry, and academia players.
He added that success of the project will be measured by how much it impacts on the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Welcoming the partnership, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said it will improve the capacity of JKUAT to effectively deliver its mandate in teaching and research to support government development programmes.
The target programmes, Prof. Imbuga added, were crucial to the country’s healthcare aspirations as well as African Union’s Agenda 2063.
“We are keen on honing innovations that can be tapped to solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time including manufacturing, healthcare and food security,” Prof. Imbuga averred.
SPHEIR’s Partnership Manager for Africa, Pauline Gangla said DIFD was keen to make a difference in Africa’s higher education in terms of quality, relevance, equity and access.
She challenged JKUAT and University of Nottingham to ensure the project is sustainable beyond the period under which it will be supported by DFID.
The MoU signing ceremony was also witnessed and addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Romanus Odhiambo (Academic Affairs) and Prof. Mary Abukutsa (Research, Production and Extension).