Graduate School to Foster Postgraduate Training and Research

Prof. Losenge Turoop

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has established a Graduate School to streamline and strengthen post-graduate training and research at the University. The School, a sequel to the Board of Post Graduate Studies (BPS) now has an expanded mandate that involves admission of graduate students and administration of examination. Other roles include management and processing of postgraduate theses, projects or research paper besides proper conduct and supervision of the postgraduate studies programmes.

The Graduate School that will be led by a Director will also be managed through a Board, composed of Deans and Directors. The Board will be chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs.

According to the Graduate School Director, Prof. Losenge Turoop, the new office has put in place various mechanisms aimed at improving efficiency and quality of postgraduate studies at JKUAT. Going forward, doctorate students must participate and make presentations in at least four seminars; and submit six progress reports. Masters students will be required to make presentations in at least two seminars and submit three progress reports. During the seminars, students are expected to share about their research and get feedback from colleagues and faculty. Students are encouraged to disseminate the research outcomes through conferences and workshops.

The school also aims to improve global visibility of JKUAT research output by encouraging students to publish in high impact journals. Predatory journals and other questionable publishing platforms will not be accepted. The graduate school encourages student to publish in Scopus index journal or equivalent to avoid delays in rejection of intent to submit thesis.

Another key objective of the new Graduate School is to promote timely completion of graduate programmes. The School has adopted continuous admission to make it more attractive to prospective students.

JKUAT is currently home to over 15,000 postgraduate students spread across its campuses. The University offers 86 Doctorate programmes, 109 Masters programmes as well as over 10 Postgraduate programmes recognised by the Commission for University Education.

Prof. Losenge says JKUAT will also leverage the Graduate School to establish links with industry, international research institutes and other universities in Kenya and globally while promoting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research undertakings.

According to the Director, JKUAT is keen to promote Problem Based Learning, a key ingredient in competence-based curricula. This, he says, will enhance employability of JKUAT graduates as well as foster the culture of innovation that may lead to start-ups. The JKUAT Graduate School is already working closely with universities in Finland to review and modernize its curriculum.

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