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Chuka University grows beyond the Eastern Region dream

A modern hotel at Ndagani just next to Chuka University

On its establishment as a Campus College of Egerton University way back in 2004, Chuka University was aimed at enhancing access to high quality and affordable university education to the people living in the Eastern region where there was no public university before.
Indeed, the university could be termed as the successor of the former Egerton University Eastern Campus College, Chuka. The Campus College was established on 27 September 2004, by Egerton University Council.
But the University Vice Chancellor Professor Erastus Njoka’s words that ‘the higher institution of learning is a prophecy come true’ are becoming more of reality by the day.
The relatively young university in Tharaka Nithi County is soon moving beyond the Eastern region to establish a campus in the City of Nairobi.
Speaking during the Chuka University 8th graduation ceremony this week, the University’s Governing Council Chairman Dr. Julius Rotich said under his watch and the university management under the able leadership of Prof. Njoka, the university has seen tremendous growth in infrastructure, students and staff members.
“In addition to Embu, Igembe and Chogoria campuses, plans are under way to establish a campus in the heart of Nairobi, on Elimu Plaza which the University acquired recently. We are proud to be associated with Tharaka University College, which is a constituent college of Chuka University,” disclosed Dr. Rotich.
The university is located at Ndagani Suburb of Chuka town, a walking distance from Chuka town but thanks to the university students and staff, the outskirt has become busier than Chuka Central Business District especially when studies are in session. The best hotels in Tharaka Nithi County are now within the University locality.
According to Prof. Njoka, the university was foretold in 1951 by a famous local philanthropist and seer called Jerusha Kanyua, who said that a mountain would come up at the locality.
A 16 storey male hostel in the university is currently one of the tallest buildings outside Nairobi, thanks to Njoka’s unwavering determination to steer the institution of higher learning into greater heights of prosperity.

The latest development for the institution is the move to improve security within and outside its vicinity to ensure safety for both students and neighbouring members of the public.
The University has installed five floodlights constructed at a cost of Sh12.1 million and further increased security in the locality by installing 96 CCTV cameras besides ring roads to buffer the University and its neighbours.
The university is also the proud owner of two ultra-modern fire engines that cost Sh70 million in a bid to contain fire incidents in case of outbreaks within and outside the institution and acquired a soil scanner that is linked with a laboratory in the Netherlands to produce immediate effects.

The scanner is used in learning and helping farmers in the county and its environs to carry out soil tests before planting for increased productivity. The scanner is capable of rapidly informing farmers of the futility of planting a certain crop within a certain piece of land.
Others developments taking shape at the university include a science park, the skyscraper student hostels, a food technology complex and a three million litre capacity water tank that will completely change the face of the institution in the near future.
During the graduation, Dr. Rotich disclosed that the ultra-modern administration and School of Law complex that is almost complete would be the face of the University.
And to sum it all, as graduates continue to saturate the employment field in the country, the University has adopted market oriented courses to empower its graduates to become economically productive as soon as they step out of the higher institution of learning.
Speaking during this year’s graduation that was virtually held at the University pavilion Friday, the University Chancellor Prof. Kabiru Kinyanjui said the university has continued to create linkages to industries as one the leading employment giant in world today.
“I take this opportunity to congratulate the Vice Chancellor and his management team for creating such linkages through events such as the open and career week, the last one having been held in March 2020”, said the Vice chancellor.
Prof. Kinyanjui further disclosed that the University has also brought together bi-lateral industry stakeholders to interact with and mentor students for prospective entrance into the job market.
“The University has further entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute to open a technology and innovative support centre becoming the 12th in the country to achieve the venture,” said the University Professor.
He said the centre that was launched in March 2020 has already registered four patents and looks forward to register many more with the support of the Chancellor’s office.
The senior university don further hailed the institution’s management for having engaged in diverse projects that hoped to positively impact not only on the university students and staff but all other stakeholders and the community at large.
Once done with the opening of the Nairobi Campus in the heart of the City, Chuka University will have reached beyond what President Kibaki had in mind way back in 2004 when campus was established in Chuka with the aim of enhancing access to high quality and affordable university education to the people living in the Eastern region. With the strides it is taking, the University leans more to the prophecy that a mountain will come up at Ndagani.
By David Mutwiri

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