Strathmore University proudly held the 2015 KAPU (Kenya Association Private Universities) conference. The two day event which was attended by heads and leaders from the fields of academia, government and private business sectors worked under the theme; Re-Aligning Academia, Government and Industry: Roadmap for the attainment of Vision 2030. Sponsors of the event included Co-operative Bank of Kenya, NACOSTI, Hand in Hand Eastern Africa and Chandaria Foundation.
Professor John Odhiambo- KAPU chairman and VC Strathmore University, in his welcoming address, explained KAPU’s focus on; quality education, provision of funds for private universities, and universities abilities to come together and work as partners eradicating shortcomings facing academics.
The event held comprehensive discussions on the marginalization of private universities by the government, as well as highlighting the core importance of creating a linkage between universities and industries. This linkage would highly encourage the production of competent graduands in a society that deems them as ‘half-baked graduates’.
Senior Deputy Director of Education, Dr. Nyangeta Areba lauded KAPU for holding such conferences, stating that eventually all universities (private and public) should be included. He also stated the role of the government in the production of skilled graduands, “the government works towards the social good of the society, by increasing accessibility to universities and making them affordable to all.” Dr. Areba also spoke of the ongoing establishment of a body that will deal with finance and support of private universities, urging universities to come forward and interact discussing policies and researches that would cater for society issues. He beseeched universities to align academics with the government in order to build the society together.
“Students are graduating with little knowledge of the expectants of the industry, therefore being termed as incompetent. This is stemming from a lack of proper collaboration between the universities and the industries,” stated Prof. David Some- CEO Commission for University Education (CUE). Prof. Some added that Higher education in Africa is depreciating with researches being conducted to a minimal. He implored universities to venture into learning new methods to improve education through teaching of relevant skills and talent development.
Other speakers highlighted on what it takes to build the next generation of academics and how to involve the industries. The effectiveness of research was highly sensitized with academics being advised to pursue PhDs that will build the society at large. The faculty was encouraged to help their students’ research effectively, which will improve the work produced.
Government, industries and universities working together can make tremendous changes in the community.