Taking on the essential task of helping transform one of Kenya’s greatest assets – its human capital – into an educated, qualified and talented workforce, Kenyatta University (K.U.) has been supporting the country’s social development and ever expanding economy for going on four decades.
When the British handed its barracks to the newly formed government of Kenya in 1965, K.U. – based just 12 miles outside Nairobi – began a history that stretches back as far as independent Kenya itself.
“The founding president H.E. Jomo Kenyatta University stated that he wanted this institution not to be used for guns but for pens,” says Professor Olive Mugenda, the Vice Chancellor of K.U. and adds that “we took that statement and first created the college, and in 1985 it became a university.”
While the number of students, staff and facilities have since increased considerably, in the last eight years the university’s growth has been truly exponential.
“Over this period of time we have managed to increase the number of students from 15,000 to 60,000,” explains Professor Mugenda, who became Vice Chancellor at the beginning of the university’s great expansion in 2006. “We started with only one school and now we have 15 within our institution. The infrastructural development has gone up by over 200%.”
During this time, with a vision towards becoming a more dynamic, inclusive and competitive center of excellence in teaching, learning and research, Kenyatta University has been working to provide quality education and training, promote scholarship, service and innovation, as well as help instill moral values for both individual and societal development.
And like any good institution, K.U.’s grand plans for expansion and improvement are continually ongoing.
In unison with the Kenyan government’s vision to transform the country in to middle income country by 2020, K.U. looks to play an increasing part in Kenya’s growth by further investing in its future.
Aside from the current construction of a state-of-the-art university hospital on campus, according to Professor Mugenda, K.U.’s science and technology function is also being strengthened to “create innovations that will spur Kenya’s growth”.