The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga today, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, received at JKUAT, a German delegation drawn from a consortium of five universities. The team was in Kenya as part of consultations whose aim is to establish the East African-German University of Applied Sciences.
The initiative which is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) was informed by a 2016 study that revealed glaring skills gaps in the graduates from local universities in the backdrop of increasing demand for qualified workers by the industry.
The consortium led by Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences is engaging a wide spectrum of stakeholders including government agencies, universities, industry players, and civil society to better understand the needs of the region ahead of the establishment of the University.
The institution to be modelled on the concept of applied science varsities in Germany is primed to work closely with the industry in mounting demand-oriented research and academic programmes to support the region’s development needs.
Prof. Gerhard Muth who led the team said, the idea of universities of applied sciences which took root in Germany in the 1960s had assisted the country to produce top quality graduates while enabling the industry to gain access to new methods and insights of doing business.
He reported that Germany currently has 200 universities of applied sciences, supporting one million students who are enrolled in over 5000 bachelors and masters programmes.
“We are therefore here to exchange ideas and learn more about the needs of Kenya universities and industries,” Prof. Muth said.
While lauding the initiative, Prof. Imbuga informed the team that JKUAT had instituted a strong culture of practical and industry oriented teaching and research in key areas such as engineering, technology, agriculture, and health sciences.
The Vice Chancellor said JKUAT had also consolidated a track record of mentoring universities both in Kenya and abroad. She cited the African Union-led Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) that is currently hosted at JKUAT as an enviable example.
Prof. Imbuga also mentioned the China backed Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre as well as IMO’s Regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre both of which are domiciled at JKUAT, as pointers of the University’s readiness to host East African-German University of Applied Sciences.
Prof. Muth was accompanied to JKUAT by Prof. Vera Hummel, Ms. Lena Gutheil and Prof. Martin Knahl.