The Minister for Higher Education Science and Technology, Prof. Margaret Kamar has challenged Kenyan universities to design and implement applied research projects that would contribute to the advancement of the economy and realization of Vision 2030.
Prof. Kamar noted that the recently enacted Universities Act 2012 has created the Research Fund to a tune of 2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a step that will make it possible for research institutions to undertake more elaborate initiatives hitherto impossible to fund.
The funding, Prof. Kamar noted, is not limited to research functions but can also be used to fund implementation of relevant and quality academic programmes by universities.
Through a speech read on her behalf by Prof. Hilary Kaane, MoHEST Education Secretary at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology when the institution marked ISO 9001:2008 re-certification, Prof. Kamar commended JKUAT for implementing new programmes that responded to the needs of the industry.
“JKUAT programmes are not only benchmarked on global standards, the university continues to attract excellence as demonstrated by the location of the Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation here”, noted Prof. Kamar.
Speaking at the same function, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director, Mrs. Evah Oduor urged local institutions to embrace quality and best practices by certifying their processes to improve competitiveness and provide opportunities for technology transfer and trade.
JKUAT Chancellor Prof. Francis Gichaga informed the function that actualization of Quality Management Systems in its functions had raised the profile of the institution among its peers attested by increase in student enrolment, diverse course portfolio and multicultural studentship.
The Varsity’s Chairman of Council, Dr. Ekuru Aukot noted that the re-certification was a strong statement on JKUAT’s adherence and conformity to the procedures and policies requisite in its service provision to the people of Kenya.
In her address, JKUAT Vice Chancellor Prof Mabel Imbuga thanked the University staff and students for their tireless efforts and commitment which enabled the university to attain the twin accomplishments of ISO 9001:2008 re-certification and award of fresh Charter.