Innovation among factors positioning MKU among top varsities in Africa

Mount Kenya University main campus in Thika.

Mount Kenya University (MKU) Council Chairman Dr. Vincent Gaitho has attributed the institution’s stellar performance in the recent universities’ rankings by UniRanks to its huge investment in research and innovation.

The Chairman asserted that the University is steadily becoming a hub for innovations through quality teaching, research and community service in the country and across the continent.

MKU was ranked at No. 51 in the 2023 African Universities Survey ahead of United States International University Africa (65), Egerton University (81), Moi University (82) and Kenya Methodist University (97).

The University of Nairobi appears among the top ten in the ranking at position 6 in the continent followed by Kenyatta University (28), Strathmore University (42), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (49) and Mount Kenya University (51).

The rankings were based on research, knowledge transfer, international outlook and teaching among other performance indicators which also included accreditation by relevant higher education bodies in their respective countries.

Dr. Gaitho said that it is high time Kenyan varsities invest in becoming centers of excellence for the country and continent’s growth and development.

“The ranking that placed 9 Kenyan Universities among Africa’s top 100 acts as a reminder that Kenya remains a competitive destination as a provider of higher education,” he said.

“The appearance of both public and private universities among the 7 confirms that Kenyan qualification framework and accreditation systems have matured to offer training and conduct research for competitive and employable graduates,” he added.

The Don called on higher learning institutions to take advantage of the current political tranquility in the country to advance their training and make the country a hub for international learners.

“Since education thrives best in a peaceful environment, Kenyan Universities should take advantage of the prevailing peaceful existence to become the destination hub for international students,” he said.

Recently, MKU embarked on the production of a plant-based black soap, a research initiative that will see Aloe Vera and bamboo extracts used as additives to the soap.

The research, according to Dr. Gaitho, is being conducted at the University’s botanic garden at the Happy Valley grounds in Thika which has over 300 indigenous plant species.

By Kamau Njoroge

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