What you need to know:
- The university will admit students at master’s and doctorate level in three faculties.
- It is a Kenya Vision 2030 flagship project and sits on 22 acres of land.
Construction of the ultra-modern Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at the Konza Technopolis will be completed in 2022 and will admit its first students the following year, the PS for University Education and Research, Simon Nabukwesi, has announced.
KAIST, whose construction started in 2017, is expected to become the top university for specialised training of scientists and engineers in Kenya and the region.
The university will admit students at master’s and doctorate level in three faculties: Mechanical, Electrical and ICT Engineering, Chemical Civil and Agriculture Engineering/Biotechnology, and Basic Science Education.
The establishment of the institution is being financed through a USD 94,697,000 (approximately Sh10.1 billion) loan from the Exim Bank of Korea and the government of Kenya’s contribution of USD 41,695,000 (about Sh4.5 billion).
“An institution of national strategic importance, it aims at producing highly qualified scientists and engineers for the future industry in Kenya and East African region,” Mr Nabukwesi said.
He was speaking during a Science Technology and Innovation symposium in Mombasa.
The university is modelled on the Korean Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, the first and top science and technology university in Korea which emphasises on specialised training. It is a Kenya Vision 2030 flagship project and sits on 22 acres of land.
Mr Nabukwesi said KAIST will “produce well-trained graduates in science, technology and innovation needed in a knowledge-based economy and sustainable growth with innovation.”
Kenya also hosts another specialist graduate university, the Pan African University of Science Technology and Innovation at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
It is a flagship of the African Union. Since it was opened in 2012, 694 students have graduated from the university with masters and PhD degrees.
“To achieve international status, universities, have to provide quality education and training, promote scholarship, innovation and creativity,” the PS said.
Commenting on university reforms, Mr Nabukwesi called for a reduction of top management positions in universities to cut on cost and avoid duplication of duties, identifying deputy vice chancellors and registrars among roles that can be merged.
Friendly governance systems
Upon completion, the Konza Technopolis will be a world-class city driven by a thriving ICT sector, superior reliable infrastructure and business friendly governance systems. The National Data Centre at the city was recently launched following completion of Phase One of the centre.
Government ministries and other agencies will be the early movers to migrate their data to the centre whose services will also be available for private entities as part of the commercialisation plan.