JKUAT held a student open forum Thursday, October 18 that brought together students, the student leadership and the administration, with a collective objective of discussing a number of issues affecting the student fraternity.
The session kicked off by a presentation from Jomo Kenyatta University Students Association (JKUSA), Secretary General Alexander Okochi highlighting the issues of students in the University. Among the key issues that dominated the discussion between the students and the administration were the provision of additional Wi-Fi Internet hotspots in the university, incubation of students’ innovations, construction of ultra-modern hostel and expansion of the Library to cater for the growing number of students in the University.
Acknowledging the growing number of students in the University, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi urged for patience informing students his administration was in the final stages of concluding a Public-Private Partnership hoped to lead to the construction of hostels and a modern library.
She urged the students to be ambassadors of JKUAT and carry themselves with dignity and pride, further calling on the youngsters to be ‘their comrades’ keepers’ particularly at this time of increased social problems. Prof. Ngumi advised the student fraternity to seek help from counselling services readily available in the University.
“To curb the challenges related to stress, make use of the counsellors attached to the various colleges and share with them the emotional and mental challenges that you encounter’ advised Prof. Ngumi.
Prof. Ngumi told the student her leadership was premised on an open-door policy that entail continuous dialogue to amicably resolve challenges that threaten students welfare at the University.
For incubation of students’ projects, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension (RPE), Prof. Mary Abukutsa assured students the University had already in place functioning structures and systems to facilitate incubation of their innovations.
“To protect our innovation, we have the Directorate of Intellectual Property Management and University-Industry Liaison (DIPUIL) that liaise with Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) and other IP protection offices for purposes of intellectual property protection,” explained Prof. Abukutsa.
To supplement this, Prof. Abukutsa informed the student that in addition to her Division’s Directorate of Production and Innovation that is responsible for coordination, management and up scaling of innovations, the University also had the JKUAT Industrial Park that facilitates the transformation of innovations and research findings into sustainable enterprises through an incubation process.
Through JKUSA, the needy students were implored to apply for the JKUSA bursary that caters to up to 30% of their tuition fee. “We have a bursary of about Kshs. 6 million to disburse to students,” reported JKUSA Finance Secretary, Zadock Rono.
The meeting was also addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Otoki Moirongo, Prof. Bernard Ikua, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Principal College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. David Mburu, Dean of Students, Ms. Emma Omulokoli, and JKUSA Chairperson Mr. Ibrahim Boru among others.