President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday awarded Charter to Umma University after the institution met requirements by the Commission for University Education and the Ministry of Education.
President Kenyatta presented the University Charter, Mace, Logo, Seal and two volumes of the accreditation report to Umma University officials at a ceremony held at State House, Mombasa.
The university that first started as a diploma college in Thika is now a fully fledged university based in Kajiado County.
Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Gullet was installed as the first Chancellor of the University while Dr Idle Farah is the Vice-Chancellor.
President Kenyatta challenged the university to offer quality of education and to contribute to the development of the country by specialising in fields that contribute directly to the growth of the Kenyan economy.
“With the award of this Charter, I expect that Umma University will uphold the standard and quality outlined in the University Act No. 42 of 2012, with the guidance of University Education,” President Kenyatta said.
He said Kenya’s reputation as the home of quality university education in Africa is on the rise and urged stakeholders in higher education to ensure that high standards of university management, research and teaching are upheld.
“Our higher learning institutions have attracted learners from across the African continent, to study in Kenya and develop their skills,” said the President.
The President said the role played by universities and colleges must be appreciated because human capital is the bedrock of sustainable development and cautioned against shortcuts that lead to release of ill equipped graduates into the job market.
“In this context, Umma University and indeed all universities must recognise their important role in educating our young people for a rapidly changing world,” said President Kenyatta.
He noted that the education curriculum is undergoing changes aimed at aligning it to the demands of the modern world and urged universities to play their role in ensuring that higher education is more accessible.
The Head of State encouraged universities to develop and nurture partnerships with the private sector and county governments geared towards finding solutions to some of the challenges facing Kenyans.
“It is said that education is a key; I believe the various problems and challenges faced in our society is the lock that matches the key. We must promote education geared towards solutions for our society through research, innovation and development,” the President advised.
Education CS Prof George Magoha said he had visited Umma University and was impressed by its achievements.
The CS challenged the university, situated in Kajiado County, to specialise in disciplines such as environment so that it can have a bigger impact in its home county and regions with similar climatic conditions.
The Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor also spoke at the event which was also attended by Tourism CS Najib Balala and the university’s Board of Trustees.
Dr Farah said the university already offers degrees in public health and nursing and announced plans to set up a fully fledged medical school.