Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has commenced discussions through the Embassy of Indonesia that could possibly lead to a collaborative partnership with the Universitas Ilmu Pengetahuan Bogor (IPB), a leading University in Indonesia on scholarships, students and faculty exchange programmes, training and research.
This was revealed during a meeting between JKUAT Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua and His Excellency, the Ambassador of Indonesia in Kenya, Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin, when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Friday, April 16, 2021.
The Ambassador who was accompanied by Embassy officials; Mr. Pradono Anindito and Mr. Geraldo Nivriano, said the purpose of his visit was “to initiate discussions and explore possible areas of collaboration between JKUAT and the IPB University in Indonesia.”
The Ambassador appreciated the warm welcome accorded to him by the University Management and for accepting his request to visit JKUAT.
Dr. Saripudin was delighted to learn that “JKUAT had established linkages with several institutions across the world including in Asia, such as Japan, China and Vietnam among others.”
He said he had contacted ICRAF – one of the scientific research institutions that is funded by several governments including Indonesia – through which IPB and the embassy could explore establishing and nurturing important research linkages with JKUAT.
“IPB is one of the oldest and high profile public university in Indonesia offering various programmes similar to areas of training and research offered at JKUAT,” said the Ambassador.
He stated that most of the top movers and technocrats who serve in government in Indonesia are drawn from or affiliated to the IPB University.
“There are scholarship opportunities for students and staff to explore, as well as exchange programmes in various disciplines,” the Ambassador said, and further encouraged “JKUAT staff and students to consider undertaking them including short courses offered online by institutions in Indonesia.”
During the meeting held in the Council Boardroom, Prof. Kinyua who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, said “JKUAT was honoured to host the Ambassador and his team.”
He informed the Ambassador that “JKUAT is one of the leading public universities in Kenya, with a population of about 32, 000 students spread across various areas of training such as Agriculture, Engineering, Built Environment, Human Resource, Business, Health Sciences, ICT, among others and a network of campuses across the country.”
“JICA has been linking us with universities in Asia. We believe there are very many things as a University, we can learn from our counterparts in Asia, especially in research. There is a lot to learn from Indonesia,” said Prof. Kinyua, noting, Indonesia is a developed and industrialized country.
Both the Ambassador and the Deputy Vice Chancellor acknowledged the existence of areas of research and training and technology transfer that both JKUAT and IPB University could pursue for mutual benefit.
Prof. Kinyua informed the Ambassador that JKUAT has a good working relationship with institutions such as ICRAF and has been leveraging on the networks built over the years, citing Dr. Catherine Muthui who was a faculty member in the Botany Department before moving to ICRAF.
“Dr. Muthui has assisted many of our postgraduate students to conduct research at ICRAF,” Prof. Kinyua said, as he expressed the University’s readiness to enter into a partnership being fronted by the Embassy through World Agro-Forestry (ICRAF) and the IPB.
Prof. Kinyua and the Ambassador agreed to fast-track the development of a draft framework for consideration that will culminate in a Memorandum of Understanding that will define and guide the collaboration engagement.
Present during the discussion included, Acting Registrar (Research, Production and Extension Division), Dr. Patrick Mbindyo, Legal Officer, Richard Wokabi and representatives from the Vice Chancellor’s Office and Corporate Communications Office.