Mount Kenya University (MKU) has stepped up efforts to prepare its students for the international job market as unemployment continues to frustrate new graduates in the country.
The University’s founder and chairman of the board, Prof Simon Gicharu, says whereas the jobs are limited, there are many opportunities outside the country.
“We are training Kenyans not only for the local job market but also for the international one,” he said.
The chairman congratulated the university management for establishing partnerships with other organisations in Germany and Austria.
He said such partnerships are providing graduates with opportunities to work abroad.
“Though we partially agree that the jobs are few in Kenya, there are many opportunities outside the country. We are training Kenyans not only for the local job market but also for the international one,” he said.
As an institution, the chairman said the University has been committed to the improvement of academic facilities and learning infrastructure. This is in form of additional learning space for students, and laboratories for research.
“Part of our drive towards internationalization is further evidenced by the fact that we have identified our honorary graduates from international community. Dr. Karim Khan is the Prosecutor at International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. He is receiving an Honorary Doctor of Laws,” said Prof Gicharu.
Prof Gicharu spoke as another 6,108 (3,138 are male and 2,970 female) graduated at MKU’s Happy Valley grounds in Thika town. They include; one honorary doctorate, 15 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degrees; 349 Masters Degrees 162 postgraduate Diplomas and 3,618 Bachelor’s Degree recipients.
The university has also waived Sh80 million on outstanding student levies that include library and storage of certificate charges.
“The issue of uncollected certificates was worsened by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Prof. Gicharu.
“Over 4,000 past students have accumulated storage fees, library arrears, and late return of graduation gowns.”
National Assembly Speaker Dr. Moses Wetangula, who was the chief guest called for adoption of multi-faceted strategies by governments throughout the world to address the issue of climate change. He also encouraged Kenyans to support the Government of Kenya’s initiative to plant 15 billion trees by year 2032.
“The rise in research on ‘greenhouse’ effects/ climate change mitigation is a vital input by universities and research organisations for bridging the glaring policy gaps in environmental education, consumer behaviour, rewarding and sanctions systems, legislation and government/ organizational support in climate change mitigation,” added the Speaker.
The 23rd graduation ceremony marked the last in which students from what was formerly MKU Kigali Campus will be travelling to Kenya. The Campus gained full autonomy in April this year and now operates under the name Mount Kigali University. In future, Mount Kigali University will be holding its own graduation ceremonies in Kigali, Rwanda.
Others who attended the colourful event were Thika Town MP Alice Ng’ang’a, and her counterparts Paul Melly (Tinderet), Musa Sirma (Eldama Ravine), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), Getrude Mbetu (Kilifi), and Innocent Mugabe (Likuyani) among others.
Others were Paul Mungai from the State Department for Higher Education and Research at the Ministry of Education, Ambassador Francis Muthaura, Chuka University Council Chair Prof. David Serem, Dr Richard Thacker of University of West Scotland and Prof. John McNulty of Loyola University, U.S.A.