Prof. Geoffrey Moriaso Ole Maloiy, the newly installed Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, has challenged county governments to prioritize education and work closely with learning institutions in their jurisdictions in order to expedite local and national development. This, he added, should be done in an inclusive and participatory manner devoid of favoritism and ethnic undertones.
Prof. Maloiy who was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Conservation Biology by JKUAT during the University’s 22nd Graduation Ceremony, Friday, also cautioned local universities against dishing out honorary awards to undeserving individuals. Such awards, the University of Nairobi don insisted, should only be conferred meritoriously to distinguished professionals from Kenya and beyond.
The new Chancellor lauded JKUAT for its strategic leadership in provision of higher education in Kenya and commendable results from its research initiatives. He vowed to offer requisite leadership that will see the institution excel in discharging its mandate to Kenyans.
Speaking during the ceremony, Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi disclosed that the government will soon roll out a new mode of funding university education in the country which lay emphasis on the nature of academic programmes and the number of students admitted in such programmes.
“Our Universities will also benefit from increased research funding as envisaged in the Constitution, which now demands that 2% of the GDP be devoted to research,” added Prof. Kaimenyi in a speech read on his behalf.
In his address, Dr. Ekuru Aukot, JKUAT Council Chair indicated that the University has put in place comprehensive expansion programme to enable it fully discharge its mandate in the wake of increased enrollment, occasioned by high demand for its market driven academic programmes. Key among the development highlights was the acquisition of a 250 acre piece of land within Juja, in which JKUAT’s College of Agriculture and College of Human Resource Development will be situated.
Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the Vice Chancellor, noted that the University had this year alone launched 13 new programmes including Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Master of Science in Pharmacology and a doctorate degree programme in Mechatronic Engineering. This is besides the Kshs. 313 Million her institution had committed to various research undertakings in the last two years.
Over 3000 graduands were awarded diplomas and conferred with various degrees during the University’s second graduation this year. A total of 5403 candidates graduated from JKUAT in the twin graduations of 2012/2013 Academic Year.