JKUAT and NTU Seek to Diversify Collaboration

Prof. Daniel Sila (right) explains how some of the food fortification lab equipment operate

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Management hosted the Nottingham Trent University (NTU) team on Wednesday, January 25, 2024 to consider and explore more viable options that will aid in sustaining and diversify the current partnership.

The two institutions have an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that has benefited staff and students from JKUAT and NTU.  The MoU covers research, student and staff exchange, development of joint programmes as well as strengthening collaboration between the institutions.

The Erasmus+ Integrated Credit Mobility Programme, one of the initiatives borne out of the MoU is a collaborative initiative between Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Mount Kenya University (MKU) and the Centre for Eco-System Restoration (Kenya).

Welcoming the NTU team, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi lauded the existing MoU collaboration a success, noting students and faculty have benefitted from the skills and knowledge exchange. This, she noted, would continue to improve the quality of research undertaken in various areas particularly in plant ecology.

“As a botanist, I am thrilled to be part of this restorative campaign that will be instrumental in safeguarding our environment. There is still a lot to do but I believe, a journey starts with one step and this initiative will be beneficial to our staff and students and most importantly the world as a whole,” Prof. Ngumi asserted.

Speaking during the meeting attended by the outgoing Pro Vice Chancellor International and incoming Executive Dean for Research and International Reputation, Prof. Cillian Ryan and Prof. Neil Mansfield, Prof. Ngumi emphasized the importance of sustaining the collaboration, stating that partnerships provide a platform for institutions to grow steadily through supportive structures embedded in the exchange of ideas and expertise between institutions of higher learning.

“As an institution, we embrace internationalization, which has proven to be an important factor in ensuring that the skillsets of our faculty and students are globally acknowledged. By establishing strong connections with other institutions, we have created supporting learning systems that will not only broaden their knowledge but also keep them ahead of the curve in terms of competence,” she observed.

Prof. Ngumi appreciated Prof. Cillian Ryan, the outgoing NTU Pro Vice Chancellor international for supporting the partnership stating that the university is eager and ready to work with the new NTU administration for the mutual benefit of their two universities.

In his remarks, Prof. Mansfield emphasized the importance of maintaining current partnerships which have proven to be effective in generating high-quality research further stating that investigating new fields may be critical in expanding the ways the universities collaborate.

“It is necessary to broaden this cooperation in order to make it long-lasting and advantageous to both institutions in a number of ways. We believe the study conducted as a result of this partnership may yield answers in a number of areas, especially the restorative field,” Prof. Mansfield stated.

Prior to the visit to JKUAT, the NTU team attended a day-long workshop at Brakenhurst in Limuru on Wednesday, January 24, 2023 where students from JKUAT, MKU, NTU and Centre for Eco-System Restoration, made presentations on various research projects conducted under the Erasmus+ Integrated Credit Mobility Programme.

During the presentations, Prof. Peter Njenga from JKUAT encouraged the student researchers to polish their research and publishing their findings in scholarly publications.

The recently concluded Erasmus + programme has seen over ten JKUAT staff and students gain critical research skills and experience.

JKUAT and NTU to diversify partnership.

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