The chancellor, Murang’a University of Technology has challenged institutions of higher learning to commit more resources to research and innovation.
Speaking during the 5th graduation ceremony held at the university on Wednesday, the chancellor Professor Justin Irina underscored the importance of research and innovation saying that it could provide solutions to many challenges facing Kenyans.
“Research and innovation are part of the core mandate of Murang’a university of Technology,” Professor said,
The chancellor observed that some challenges in life like health, food insecurity and industrialization among others can be solved if universities actively engage in research.
He noted that institutions of higher learning have the capacity to research and innovate and should therefore invest in programmes that can attract external funding.
The Professor further appreciated the increase in the student population at the university from 4,000 students in 2017 to 0ver 8,000 currently.
“As I mark the fifth and final year as the chancellor of this university, I take pride in the tremendous growth it has experienced during my tenure” he said adding that the academic programmes at the university have increased from 51 in 2017 to 80 in 2021.
Speaking during the same occasion, the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Dickson Nyariki, noted that the university has steadily increased enrolments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes
Nyariki stated that in support of government strategy to train hands-on technicians the university has re-established Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes under a semi-autonomous directorate.
On his part, the university council chairman, Professor Joachim Osur, commenting on the ongoing infrastructure projects at the institution, said that the university has procured modern analytical and imaging laboratory equipment with a grant from the National Research Fund.
Osur also called on the county and national governments to assist in the repossession of portions of land belonging to the university that have been encroached on hindering the completion of the university’s perimeter wall.
1,048 students graduated from Murang’a university with various academic degrees among them the first ever three PhDs since the university was chartered five years ago.
The 2021 graduation ceremony where the Education Chief Administrative Secretary, Hassan Noor Hassan, was the chief guest, was the second to be held virtually by the university during this Covid-19 pandemic.
By Purity Mugo and Joseph Kiguta