Five local universities are in the process of fast-tracking business-oriented programmes to be offered at their institutions to empower their lecturers and students with entrepreneurial skills.
The programmes are meant to empower their staff and students with skills to make money during this difficult Covid-19 period.
The idea, spearheaded by a group of universities in Germany, under a programme funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, seeks to train students on relevant business skills to make it in the job market.
Among the local universities adopting the programme are Karatina, Kenyatta, Mount Kenya, Chuka and Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology.
Karatina University, for example, has made entrepreneurship a compulsory course. Its VC Prof Mucai Muchiri said all students and staff have been sensitized on entrepreneurship.
“The introduction of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Entrepreneurship in our School of Business and making it compulsory is meant to make our students business oriented,” he said.
Other business ideas the university is working on is the Value-Added Purple Tea project that aims at promoting value added purple tea as a healthy drink and an enhancer of the human immune system.
“Others are the Fast Responder software, a business that aims at curbing insecurities especially in the transport sector. The software links a device fitted in the vehicles to an application in a smartphone. There is also Regal-Pearl Industries, a business idea of making ornamental products using pearls,” he said.
MKU VC, Prof Deogratius Jaganyi, called for more collaboration between Kenyan and German universities to unlock potentials for the growth of the institutions.
Participants called on colleges to embrace online education through large-scale adoption of technologies.
They said technologies are critical for entrepreneurship and called for more government support to ease the constraints that local colleges suffer from.
They also called on universities to improve the employability of their graduates through offering market-oriented courses as well as have strong networking to help their students get jobs.
They were speaking during an international conference held at Mount Kenya University (MKU) in Thika town.
The forum that was organised by Entrepreneurial Universities (CEPU) and Developing Entrepreneurial Universities in Kenya (DePUK), brought together 10 universities from Germany and Kenya and attracted both in-presence participants and virtual participants
Participants from Germany came from Bonn Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Leuphana University, and University of Leipzig, Wismar University of Applied Sciences and University of Saarland.
By Muoki Charles