With the decline in the number of self-sponsored students and the dwindling financial capitation to public universities, JKUAT satellite campuses have been urged to identify their niche to remain afloat.
This was established during a familiarization visit by the University Council, led by Mr. Joseph Gitonga M’Aciuru and University Management led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi to JKUAT campuses in Nakuru, Kitale and Kisii on May 25-27, 2022.
While lauding the strategic efforts the campuses were employing to break even, Mr. Gitonga advised the campus directors to treat them as strategic business units supporting the main campus.
“You need to identify your niche as a campus in relation to your context to attract students’ numbers. You need to identify the industry needs of your surrounding and tailor programmes geared towards satisfying those needs for self-sustainability,” advised Mr. Gitonga who was accompanied by fellow council members, Dr. Salome Wanjiku Gichura, Mr. Gabriel K. Lengoiboni and Mrs. Winnie Omondi.
The council members encouraged the staff to be ambassadors of their respective campuses and forge linkages and collaborations with organisations around the campus.
“You (staff) are the greatest assets of these campuses. You ensure that the campuses run, no matter what level. This means your strength, commitment and dedication are key to our growth as a University,” said Dr. Gichura.
While pledging her support to the campuses, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ngumi urged staff and students to work as a team to achieve self-sufficiency and be good ambassadors.
“We must make a positive impact wherever we go and give back to the community as an institution with a unified mission of advancing higher education in the country,” said Prof. Ngumi.
She further lauded the efforts the campuses were making to break even through aggressive marketing of the programmes offered by the campuses.
Some of these strategies include the use of bulk SMS to target prospective students, advertising in local media stations, organising school career fairs in neighbouring secondary schools, visiting industry to publicize their post-graduate programmes, social media activation and pitching tents on market days among others.
The University Council and Management also visited the 50-acre JKUAT-Wabuge Centre located in Lukuyani in Kitale. The centre boasts of a 33-acre maize farm, 3 acres of avocado and 1 acre of bananas.
The team vowed to develop a demonstration farm for crop production at the centre where locals would benefit from JKUAT expertise. With locals gravitating towards avocado farming in the region, the first order of business would be to prepare an avocado nursery for seed propagation.
The three-day visit also saw the team pay a courtesy call to the County Commissioners of Nakuru and Kisii counties who vouchsafed their support to the respective campuses in their counties and welcomed collaboration and partnerships with JKUAT through the campuses.
The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by among others, her Deputies; Prof. Bernard Ikua, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, Prof. Robert Kinyua and the Ag, Chief Legal Officer, Mr. Richard Wokabi.