Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu has challenged graduates to take advantage of available scholarships and other opportunities to further their education.
Speaking during Murang’a University of Technology’s (MUT) 7th graduation ceremony, the CS asked the graduates to consider applying for scholarships available both locally and internationally to further their education.
“There are many government scholarships that are available, and some even cater for 100 per cent of the expenses,” he said,
“If you come across an opportunity to further your education, you should take it and make that application,” he added.
He said that the students who were getting their first degree should aspire to proceed to master’s degrees and PhDs because the opportunities are available.
The CS called upon all universities to make research their top agenda, saying that is the only way they would be able to earn their place among world-class universities.
“I was recently at Harvard University, and I realised that the amount of research they conduct there is what makes them the number one university in the world,” he said.
He said that universities must therefore forge partnerships with research institutions and other universities so as to be able to partake in research that benefits the community.
The CS then tasked all universities to ensure they offered quality education by engaging in market research and involving stakeholders so as to produce practical and market-relevant programmes for their students.
“Universities should produce graduates who have the capacity to perform the tasks expected of them in the job market, as well as enable the graduates to be self-reliant,” he said.
He stated that, other than education, it was also the role of the university to ensure they took an interest in the wellbeing and personal growth of the students.
Meanwhile, CS Machogu also addressed the concerns of some sections of the public about the new university funding model and averred that the new model is student-centred and the funds will be allocated to students based on need without leaving the students with an undue financial burden.
The CS further challenged universities to explore alternative funding options, saying that the universities in the country have been facing a financial shortage of up to Sh 61 billion.
He urged all universities to use resources allocated to them prudently and ensure every shilling is directed towards improving the quality of education.
On his part, MUT Vice Chancellor Prof. Dickson Nyariki said that the university, whose niche is technology, was rapidly growing as it now has 12,000 students.
He also confirmed that the university is involved in several research projects that involve both students and staff.
1200 students were conferred with various degrees, diplomas, and certificates at the university’s 7th graduation party, which was the first to be open to students and parents since the Corona pandemic.
The University Chancellor, Joachim Osur, acknowledged the rapid increase in the number of degree programmes offered by the university from 15 to more than 60 over the past six years.
He expressed gratitude towards the government for its support of infrastructural developments that include new hostels, laboratories, and lecture halls and emphasised that the graduates have been fully equipped to play an important role in the development of the nation.
The chancellor highlighted the need for additional resources to strengthen the university’s digital capacity and appealed to the government for continued financial support in order to achieve academic excellence.
By Purity Mugo and Martin Macharia