What you need to know:
- Egerton University, located in the agriculturally endowed Rift Valley, is the place to go to for expertise in that key area.
- Kenyatta University has been the bastion for education and training of teachers, since it was a constituent college of the University of Nairobi.
Every university worth its salt strives to immensely contribute to training and generation of knowledge for the benefit of the society. Universities are a source of expertise, evaluation and application of new knowledge. At the core of these institutions is a progressive competition to bring out the best expertise in various areas.
The development of Kenyan universities has largely been along the need to nurture certain disciplines. Prospective students need to know where they go to achieve their dreams when choosing courses. This is precisely where Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha is coming from in his appeal to them to remain focused on their traditional core areas of strength to guarantee competitive academic programmes.
There is no good reason, for example, why Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology should seek to offer humanities and the arts. It was specifically developed and equipped for agriculture and technology training as a response to a particular need. Moi University’s strength is in information science and Egerton University, located in the agriculturally endowed Rift Valley, is the place to go to for expertise in that key area. It was for many years a middle-level college for agriculture-based learning.
Duplication of courses
Kenyatta University has been the bastion for education and training of teachers, since it was a constituent college of the University of Nairobi. There is no need for it to venture into medicine, for instance, a discipline better developed at UoN.
The universities are still reeling from the recent experimentation with massive expansion and duplication of courses that left them exposed. They must carve their niche to produce skilled independent learners who become confident leaders.
Higher education is an important economic, social and cultural force for change; hence the need to fully equip the institutions to specialise in areas where their strengths can be felt.