Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) released over 3811 graduands to the labour market during the 26th Graduation Ceremony that was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof Geoffrey Ole Maloiy, on Friday November 27 at Juja Main Campus.
Addressing the congregation, the Chancellor said JKUAT had identified and established strategic partnerships with local and international partners in pursuit of excellence in research, training and industrial development, such as the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre and the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN project which, collectively, he averred, “will significantly strengthen the institution’s research capacity and collaborations with county governments focusing on development and commercialization of innovation products from the University.”
Prof. Maloiy reported that in August next year; JKUAT will participate in the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi. Kenya will be the first country to host the conference in Africa.
In his inaugural address since his appointment as the University Chairman of Council, Prof. Paul Kanyari Njuki said, the 3811graduands included 41 from JKUAT Kigali Campus, Rwanda, and 74 from Arusha, Tanzania, noting, the number of graduands in the two graduations of 2015 surpassed that of 2014 by 27%.
Prof. Kanyari also noted the University’s positive growth trajectory that has seen a rapid rise in student population. “In the 2015/2016 Academic Year for instance, JKUAT registered 8,189 compared to 7,358 in the 2014/2015 Academic Year. The increase in admissions, the Council Chair explained, “continues to exert pressure on the limited physical and human resources needed for quality teaching, training and research.” To address the challenge, the University is currently undertaking several physical infrastructure expansion projects, such as the recent acquisition of the ICEA Building along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi at the cost of Kshs. 1.85 billion to alleviate the physical infrastructure and financial challenges.
The Chair of Council thanked Government of Kenya and the Kenya Commercial Bank for their support.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga recognised the growing diversity of knowledge in various professional fields occasioned by evolving societal needs, noting that it had translated into a compelling need for the university to develop various academic programmes to address the knowledge and skills gap.
JKUAT, the Vice Chancellor revealed, had launched 14 new academic programmes aimed at fostering teaching, research and innovation for national development. Prof. Imbuga further said, the institution has committed Kshs. 340 million from internal and external sources to energy, engineering, food security and climate change projects.
Prof. Imbuga reassured the congregation that as the university undergoes academic expansion, adherence to quality remains a key guiding principle, having enhanced the University’s competitive edge culminating in 8,189 students’ admission in September 2015, reflecting 8% increase from the September 2014 intake.”
On innovations, Prof. Imbuga said, the university’s innovations have gained prominence and traction among Kenyans, necessitating the university to engage the services of a Patent Drafting Officer under the Directorate of IP Management and University Industry Liaison to ensure JKUAT researchers gain from their research and innovation.