MKU Journey of quality assurance mechanism in academic excellence

Simon Gicharu is an educationalist and founder of Mount Kenya University, which is East and Central Africa’s largest private university. He was born in 1964 in Gathiruini village, Kiambu County, Kenya. He is the first in a family of seven. Gicharu is also the Chairman of the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation and National Private Universities Owners Association of Kenya. He is the founder of Equip Africa Institute and patron of the Mount Kenya University Graduate Enterprise Academy. He is also a board member at Thika Water and Sewerage Company, and the patron of Inter Universities Rover Moot under the Kenya Scouts Association. In 2015, Gicharu was named the Eastern African Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and subsequently inducted into the Ernst and Young Hall of Fame. He is married with three children.

“We have a mission” When the university’s foundation was laid, I was very clear in my mind about what we wanted to do. I note with pride and satisfaction that what started as a dream is slowly being transformed into a reality. This university has a mission it wants to fulfill. We are doing everything,” Said Mount Kenya University Founder and vision carrier, Prof. Simon N. Gicharu, CBS.

Mount Kenya University (MKU), is a progressive, ground-breaking university that serves the needs of aspiring students and a devoted top-tier faculty who share a commitment to the promise of accessible education and the imperative of social justice and civic engagement doing good and giving back to the society.

It is a Chartered University committed to a broad-based, holistic and inclusive system of education with footprints in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Hargeisa, Burundi and Garowe.

Mount Kenya University Main campus is located in Thika along General Kago Road, Thika town about 45 kilometres from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, with other campuses in Nairobi, Parklands, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nkubu, Meru, Kakamega and Kisii. The University has study centres in Malindi, Kisumu, Nyeri, Kericho and marketing offices in Garissa, Isiolo and Kitale.

The institution is governed by Board of Management (BM), which is responsible for the implementation of the university policies and undertakes the day-to-day management of the University affairs.

The MKU Senate is in charge of all academic matters in accordance with the University Charter.

The school is also ISO 9001:2015 Certified and a member of Inter-University Council for East Africa, African Association of Universities, and Association of Commonwealth Universities.

This as well means that the institution is committed on compliance with international standards on quality.

MKU has successfully established partnership with like-minded institutions of higher learning around the globe. Currently the University has over 50 partnerships and linkages at local, regional and international levels.

The University’s coupling of health sciences, liberal arts and research actualizes opportunities for personal enrichment, professional preparedness and scholarly advancement.

Also career wise, Mount Kenya University is among the universities that have established the office of career services as required by the ministry of education to offer career mentorship to potential and continuing students.

This makes it easy for high school students to be empowered with functional information on post-secondary training that relates with the career opportunities upon graduation.

The University’s academic programmes are innovative and responsive to the immediate and long-term national and international scientific and technological needs.

The Commission for University Education accredited over 164 academic programmes to the institution which admits both Government-sponsored and self –sponsored students.

Mount Kenya University consistently provides relevant programmes and practice-based learning experiences to fulfill the ever-changing needs of its students, its community and the 21st century workforce.

Some of these program careers include: School of Pharmacy, Medical School, School of Nursing, School of Clinical Medicine, School of Public Health, School of Business and Economics, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, School of Law, School of Education, School of Social Sciences, School of Computing and Informatics, School of Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Management, School of Engineering, Energy and the Built Environment as well as School of Graduate studies.

Academically, MKU Medical School was rated the First by the East African Community partners’ state audit by EAC medical practitioners and Dentists councils/ boards. It also grades among the top 10 Universities in Kenya- Webometric and i4CU rankings. This has made the institution graduates to be as well among the top 10 most preferred by employers according to

Corporate Staffing Services Limited Rankings.

Africa- UniRank Madison insurance survey on Higher Education rated MKU as the most    affordable institution and a leading private university in Kenya in terms of number of programmes on offer and students population.

Tallying, MKU ranked the fourth best Kenyan university in sports, top in Science offering Institutions in the private category as stated on CPS International survey and finally at position 2 and 4 in Facebook and Twitter respectively according to 4ICU Ranking attracting International recognition.

With an emphasis on Science, technology and humanities, Mount Kenya University offers an all rounded education including moral and professional education to all persons irrespective of religion, race, gender or political affiliation, social or cultural background.

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It endeavors to develop well trained man power equipped with technological scientific knowledge and capacities from certificates, diplomas, under graduate and post‐graduate degree courses.

Advanced and modernized digital facilities across the institute campuses has seen uninterrupted Continuity in e-learning even in emerging pandemic crisis.

This has enabled the management to continue offering open, distance and e-learning programmes that eliminate residential requirement hence reducing costs of education.  Wi-Fi internet is accessible in all the campuses.

This has also enhanced embracement of multicultural diversity considering its student ever growing population that has enabled them to develop talents through organizing of cultural events thus creating unity in diversity.

 Accessible campuses:

Students have a choice to benefit from qualified and committed teaching and non-teaching staff while studying from any of its accredited campuses in Kenya and other countries, hence increased access to equity in university education plus Digital varsity.

All the campuses across the world are well-equipped with Science and IT laboratories, Library, Postgraduate Centre and other academic resources.

It is also packaged with Flexible modes of learning, which includes fulltime, digital learning, and Institution-based learning, part-time (evening and weekends).

This has seen Students being able to complete their courses within the stipulated time. Students’ academic progress is monitored and evaluated on a continuous basis. Trimester system also allows acceleration.

Student welfare support:

For the convenience of the students, the University has in place accommodation facilities and a student centre that houses a restaurant serving international cuisine.

The university also has a gym and a salon/barber shop. There are also shops for the basic needs of students, laundry and dry cleaning services.

The integrated sick bay offers basic health services and ensures a healthy environment for the University community. The sporting and recreation activities at the university vary and include rugby, football, tennis, volley ball, athletics, swimming and others such as drama.

The University also has in place a fleet of buses. Transport is always available for academic and social trips. In addition to these trips, students’ benefit from academic exchanges with foreign and local institutions of higher learning.

They also have a Graduate Enterprise Academy; a platform offered free of charge by the University Board of Directors to assist students & Alumni to be job creators rather than job seekers.

Security:

The university is well equipped with enhanced security within its environs through 24-hour CCTV camera surveillance and night patrols by security agencies.

This is also heightened by Biometric Access Control Automation of the university processes to enhance service delivery and add on to its security proof.

Community Support

The University also, through Research, Innovation and Community outreach programmes has impacted communities positively through extension of services.

It has a vibrant Corporate Social Responsibility policy that forms one arm of the tripartite focus areas of the institution; the other two being teaching and research.

Every academic year, the university’s management, staff and students contribute to the welfare of the community, both in cash and kind.

MKU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi in a statement said, “Kenyan youth should be encouraged and supported to start their own income generating initiatives instead of waiting for the elusive employment”.

The University has its’ own corporate social responsibility programs and also supports request from community, individuals or organizations towards a certain call.

Some corporate social responsibilities / community outreach programs which the University has or still is engaging in are: Medical Camp, Charity Golf Event, Sinai Dam Tragedy donations through Nakuru Campus, Modeling for the disabled, Tree planting, Presidential Club activities (Tree Planting, King’ong’o prisons donations) and Children’s home visits(School of Hospitality) among others.

To ensure its charitable programs are run effectively and achieve its main goals, the institution formed an independent arm dubbed MKU Foundation to manage an endowment fund that supports scholarships, community outreach investments and infrastructural development.

In addition to the Commission for University Education, MKU programmes are accredited by the following professional bodies: Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB); The Kenya Nutritionists & Dieticians Institute (KNDI); Clinical Officers Council (COC); Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB); Public Health Officers and Technicians Council (PHOTC); Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK); Commission for Legal Education (CLE) and Kenya Medical Laboratory Technologist and Technicians Board (KMLTTB).

Out of this quality assurance education and well-tailored student and staff needs, MKU has continued to attract a large number of both Government and self-sponsored students

 

 

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