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Dons call for quality postgraduate training

Kenyan universities have been urged to devote more attention and resources towards enhancement of post-graduate training in the country.

Speaking separately after holding talks with top leadership of the Kenya Union of Postgraduate Students Association (KUPSA), Mount Kenya University Vice Chancellor Stanley Waudo and his University of Nairobi counterpart Peter Mbithi said postgraduate training is critical to Kenya’s economic transformation.

The two dons said both public and private universities have a critical role in preparing adequate and highly qualified human resource, which is much needed to make Kenya’s economy knowledge-driven.

Speaking at Mount Kenya University’s main campus in Kiambu County, Prof Waudo warned that shortage of highly qualified staff in institutions of higher learning could lead to a devastating impact on the country’s human resource needs.

He said there is urgent need for both public and private universities to focus more on quality teaching and supervisions for Masters and PhD candidates, particularly on science oriented disciplines in order to bridge the widening gap for human resource needs required for driving the Kenya Vision 2030.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

“The future of any country is dependent on serious and focused post-graduate training, and it’s the high time managers of today’s universities direct more energy to nurturing highly qualified individuals capable of driving forward the agenda of research and innovation towards Kenya’s economic transformation,” Prof Waudo said.

The VC lamented that most universities appear to have directed more energy on undergraduate training at the expense of postgraduate levels.

Prof Mbithi pledged the university’s commitment to quality training and research which he said are instrumental tools for realization of a knowledge-based economy.

“The University of Nairobi will remain steadfast in providing leadership in training and research, as it remains an important center for generation of transformative knowledge in Africa,” he said.

He urged universities to not only improve the quality of training, but also pump massive investment on training infrastructure.

KUPSA’s President Lemi Muia is leading the organization’s top leadership in establishing strategic partnerships in both private and public universities that will create chapters in both public and private universities to enhance effective leadership.