Sunday, June 2, 2024

After almost 10 years, the University of Nairobi received a green light to go ahead and implement the Engineering and Science Complex. This was after the University through the Directorate of Advancement and Institutional Development won a grant from the French Government, a partnership that kicked off in 2015.

The Kshs. 3B project that will be implemented for the next 5 years, will see a fresh and innovative way of teaching and learning that involves the Industry partners, Academia (UoN and Universities in France) and both Governments of Kenya and France at the Engineering and Sciences both physically within the complex, and in their curricular, research and innovation efforts. The ESC project will be implemented through 6 pillars; Industry- academia linkage, Building and Construction, Innovation, Internationalization, Research and Curricular pillars. The project has drawn both teaching and non-teaching staff from different faculties of the University to head its implementation.

Speaking during the Inception workshop, the Director Advancement and Ag. Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Brian Ouma gave a brief history of the journey of how a small team of experts decided came together and wrote a grant and the journey of how the project has brought together the different Governments and ministries in Kenya and France. Mr. Ouma announced, ‘In 2015, a proposal was developed and in 2019, the French and the Kenyan Governments signed an MoU. This is the biggest education investment project by the French in an Anglophone country.’ He noted and appreciated everyone who has contributed to the advancement and development of this project until its fruition including the previous UoN Management and the current one.

Prof. Leonida Kerubo, the Ag Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Leonida Kerubo also expressed her excitement at seeing the project finally at its inception. She noted that it will revolutionize how the Engineering and Science will be taught at the University. She was also among the first core team that conceptualized and wrote the grant proposal. She urged all the staff present to own up the project and play their role, fulfill their duties within the time allocated to see the successful completion.

Prof. Margaret Hutchinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Enterprise, was also elated to be at the inception workshop. She underscored the importance of research and working closely with the Industry to solve the challenges in the market. She noted that, ‘Research and Innovation is the future. We must as a University, live up to our name and goal of transforming society.

Programmes Manager, Ms Anne Nkoidilah also took the participants through the journey and the hurdles of the how the project has advanced. She appreciated everyone for taking their time out to dedicate to conceptualizing the implementation of the ESC. She also urged all for a paradigm shift in the ESC project because unlike the usual Faculty-based approach when it comes to programmes and delivery, this project calls for a multidisciplinary approach, problem-based learning and a lot of innovation in delivery.

Throughout the intensive three days, staff took time to brainstorm and draw a road map of how each pillar will implement and collaborate to see the ESC project to its completion. The Inception workshop took place in Mombasa from 28-30, May 2024.