Karatina University held a one-day a sensitization forum on National Cohesion, Values and Principles of Governance relevant to the University on 15th November, 2018 at Maini Campus. The facilitators were Mr. Ambrose Biketi and Mr. Makau Kyalo from the Directorate of National Cohesion and Values in the Executive Office of the President. Topics covered included understanding National Cohesion and Integration, National Values and Principles of Governance and National Cohesion and Values indicator as well as Reporting for the Performance Contract.
The Korean Government Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) is short term summer program, awarded on a highly competitive basis to under graduate students from across Africa and Latin America. The aim of the program is to provide the participants with an in-depth academic training for 5 weeks along mentorship from Korea staff.
Out of the 20 students who were awarded 2018 GKS, four were 4th year BSc. Food Science and Nutrition (FSN) students from Karatina University who were the only winners from Kenya among the seven others from different African countries. They also won three of the four awards of the program.
Karatina University together with partner Universities namely Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), Kenyatta University and Maseno University undertook a four-day training workshop for university academic Deans and Directors under the auspices of DIES National Multiplication Training (NMT) at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega.
This was the second workshop with the first having been held at Karatina University in December 2017. It was conducted under the theme “Training Deans and Directors on Quality Leadership and Management: A Driver of Change in Higher Education”. This workshop was encapsulated with the knowledge that Deans and Directors in public universities in Kenya are faced with myriad of issues bordering on quality service delivery, leadership and management; all core in ensuring that they deliver services to their clients.
The workshop was sponsored by DAAD through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany having been conceived through a project call for proposal to DAAD that was successfully submitted, evaluated and won by a team of four experts from the partner universities and coordinated by Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho, Deputy Vice Chancellor (ARSA), Karatina University. Members of the project team undertook training in Germany on leadership and therefore versed to multiply the training to other levels of university management.
Call for training was put to Deans and Directors of public universities in Kenya with a set selection criteria, 23 (twenty-three) academic Deans and Directors were selected for the training. The participants were drawn from the following universities: Karatina University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kenyatta University, Maseno University, Jaramogi Odinga Oginga University of Science and Technology, Rongo University, University of Kabianga, Zetech University, Cooperative University of Kenya, Meru University of Science and Technology, Technical University of Kenya and Mount Kenya University with all the participants having successfully completed Workshop One.
The Workshop was officially opened by Prof. Frederick A. Ochieng' Otieno, Vice-Chancellor, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology on Wednesday, 27th July 2018. In his remarks, Prof. Otieno appreciated the wonderful relations among universities to work together for a common goal and not necessarily competing on fronts. He therefore recognized that synergy needed to be cultivated and collaborations expanded. He underscored that the thematic concerns of the workshop are relevant in the current dynamics of university leadership.
Other notable guests included Prof Anne Nangulu, Deputy Director (Quality Assurance) at the Commission for University Education (CUE) who presented on the role of Deans and Directors in universities. The other key speakers were Prof. B. Wangila, former Vice Chancellor, MMUST; Prof. Frank Ziegele, CHE Germany and International Expert; Ms. M. Kirai, DAAD; Prof. Litondo, Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Maseno University; Prof. A. Sigot, MMUST; Prof. E. Abenga, MMUST; Prof. F. Waswa, Kenyatta University; Prof. F. Indede, Maseno University and Mr. J. Rading, MMUST.
The training focused on the following core areas: Quality Assurance issues in your Faculty/Directorate; Common Mistakes made by Deans and Directors: Personal Experience; Interpersonal Relationships in the Faculty; Conflict Resolution and Management; Rationalization of University Academic Programmes; Leadership and Management: Sharing experiences; Financial Management at Faculty level; Resource Mobilization and Research Management and finally, Lessons Learnt and Way Forward. These core issues were presented by the experts interactively with participants sharing experiences borne out of Workshop One and from their universities. There was a common standpoint that the training illuminated on current leadership issues that impact to Deans and Directors.
After the lengthy training, participants were treated to an excursion visit of the Nabongo Mumias Shrine at Mumias Town. They had the privilege of learning the rich history of the Wanga Kingdom, its dynasty and genealogy that dates from 1051 AD to the current monarch King Peter Nabongo. Lessons on cultural preservation and heritages were learnt and especially now that Karatina University has a centre for Mau Mau Studies in place to document local rich histories through the ages.
The library in collaboration with students who are members of the Knowledge Ambassadors Club, which is composed of students who volunteer to learn and train their peers on library resources, use of technology and online collaborations. The Club organized a two-day library open sessions under the theme “Know Your Library”. During the two days, students and staff interacted with the members of the Club and library staff who trained them on; access to subscribed electronic resources, use of audio books, registration to off-campus access to library resources among other topics. The students who participated were amazed with the wealth of knowledge in the University library and dubbed it as ‘The Power House’. They expressed appreciation to their fellow students who had initiated that noble exercise which they said was an eye-opener and an enabler to their academic journey in the university and beyond. The fruits of the two-day event were immediately noticeable with an increase in usage statistics of the library resources.
This affirmed the Club’s Vision of promoting academic excellence to enlighten the members so as to empower their peers. The members of the club extended their initiative of marketing the library resources and joined Karatina Community Library as they launched their digital corner. The students interacted with the participants during the launch and showcased the ‘talking-books’ in the University library courtesy of the American Reference Centre. The books proved to be a crowd-puller, with the participants amazed at how technology has transformed information to cater for different reading preferences.
Karatina University held its 2nd Fourth Years’ Mentorship Seminar on 6th March, 2018. The Seminar took place at the Conference Hall in Karatina University, Main Campus, Kagochi. The mentorship committee invited 5 guest speakers who presented various topics that would prepare Karatina University Fourth year students for the job market once they graduate. It was opened by Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho, DVC (ARSA) on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Karatina University. The topics that were presented included;
- Personal Branding and Positioning of the 21st Century Graduate by Prof. Juliet Macharia- Karatina University
- Entrepreneurship and Self Employment: The Way to go for Youth in Kenya by Mr. Philip Nyamwaya, MD, iPay Limited
- Interview and Networking Skills by Dr. Lilian Apadet Osamong’, Moi University
- Resume and Cover Letter Writing by Ms. Judith Ndunge Mang’eng’e, Group Human Resource Manager, Jacaranda Hotels
- Business Simulation by Mr. John Kanyakiri, Council Member, Karatina University
The Seminar was attended by approximately 200 students from various academic programmes. The climax of the seminar was the business simulation practical which allowed 30 participants to demonstrate their entrepreneurship skills. The participants were allowed to own a virtual business and trade amongst themselves. The virtual entrepreneurs will share their experience with their fellow students at departmental level.
The feedback from the participants was that, it was a good idea, educational, informative, creative and impactful. The participants also appreciated the blend of the guest speakers, that is, Karatina University staff and practitioners. The participants strongly recommended that the next seminar should have 1 or 2 Karatina University graduate (s) to share their job interview experience. The guest speakers were thrilled by how the participants were inquisitive and their keenness to details.