Turkana University College (TUC) Acting Principal Prof. George Cheminig’wa has expressed optimism that the institution is on course to acquiring a charter to become a fully-fledged university after its current admission of first year students tripled compared to last year.
The campus, a constituent college of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology last week admitted 340 students compared to 142 last year. The number is expected to rise to 400 by this week.
Addressing the press after he had delivered the principal’s address which is the first ever speech delivered to first years joining the university, Prof. Cheminingw’a said the varsity currently has slightly more than 1,000 students and hopes to have a student population of 2,000 next year.
“We expect more students in the next academic year even as we look forward to attaining charter as a fully-fledged university,” he said.
The University principal said since September 13, they started receiving the first year students and Friday he had an opportunity to speak to the students in the Principal’s address before they commence learning.
An elated, Cheminingw’a said the students are spread in the three schools of Science and Technology, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Business and Economics.
He said the university will increase the number of programmes being offered to accommodate more students.
He noted that the students are drawn from various counties, adding that he was also expecting students from the neighbouring countries including South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia.
At the same time, the principal said the university in partnership with Morendat Institute of oil and gas in Eldoret has admitted 15 students for diploma courses in Economics in Oil and gas.
Among the students interviewed by KNA was Christine Chepkorir, who is doing her a first year Master’s Degree in Evolutionary Biology.
The elated Archeology graduate from Kenyatta University was optimistic that the varsity will help her realize her dreams of understanding human evolution better.
“I am very happy to be part of Turkana University College because it offers me an opportunity to study a course that is strategic to what I am doing,” she said.
Meanwhile, the principal has advised students to avoid drug and substance abuse. “We don’t allow drunkenness and drug abuse in our institution, you are advised to remain clean,” he said.
On Covid-19 pandemic, the principal said the institution has put in place measures to ensure adherence to health protocols including setting up a surveillance team to enforce the same.
He cited the decision by the institution to hold the principal’s address in the open and not in a closed hall as one way of avoiding overcrowding and meeting social distance guidelines.
“We shall be providing each of the students with one reusable mask,” added Prof. Cheminig’wa.
By Peter Gitonga