Karatina University Holds the First Green Innovations Competition

Karatina University has started the process of establishing a green entrepreneurial culture with the aim of becoming a model green entrepreneurial university not only in Kenya, but world over. The University is mandated to train, carry out research and community outreach. This entails conducting trainings that are adaptable to the modern challenges, new and emerging technologies, experiential learning, continuous research and extension. To realize the above objectives, the University has developed a policy on the Green Concept where all the programs, services, projects and products are structured towards sustainable use of natural resources in attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals

Green Innovations competition week is an initiative that aims at stimulating and unleashing entrepreneurship and innovativeness among staff, students and the community of Karatina University. The competition provides the students with an opportunity to make a positive impact on society by addressing environmental issues through social and technological innovations, while contributing to their own economic benefit. The green innovations competition week is an annual activity supported by the University which is led by the Green University Concept Committee under the academic division.

The DVC (A, R & SA), Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho giving her opening remarks, seated next to her is the Chairman of the Green University Committee, Dr. Mugo Mware.

The first competition was held on 22nd November, 2019 where students show cased their green innovative ideas which were graded and the award ceremony was on 19th February, 2020 presided over by the DVC (A,R&SA), Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho on behalf of the Vice Chancellor.

The DVC (A,R&SA) giving her opening remarks, with Dean SPAS, Prof. J. Kinyanjui to her right and the Chairman of the Green University Concept Committee to her left.

The committee received thirteen project applications where eleven projects from the following students were presented for grading:

1. Ann Thuo – SNRES
2. Sharon Jeruto – SESS
3. Vincent/Joseph/Evan/Simon - SAB
4. Nachale Marriam - SNRES
5. Lucy Muthoni - SAB
6. Comfort Maina/Lucy/Grace - SESS
7. Joseph/Kiboke/Wabuti - SAB
8. Mcleod Nyandiga – SPAS
9. Joseph Wambugu - SPAS
10. Rophy Barasa - SAB
11. Kevin/Mary - SPAS

The DVC ( ARSA) and participants of the Green Innovations Competition displaying their certificates

The Winning teams, judges and other members of staff pose for a photo with the DVC ( ARSA)

Judges used a 10-point criteria where a grand score was computed and the average score derived. The judges are members of the green university concept committee whose chair is Dr. Mugo Mware and are drawn from four schools as follows: Dr. Michael Gachahi, SESS; Dr. Josphat Kagema, SESS; Dr. Dennis Maina, SAB; Dr. Kinya Miriti, SOB and Ms. Joan Wakasa Murumba, SPAS. All the students who sent their applications and participated were awarded with certificates of participation. Besides, the winners were presented with cash prizes donated by the Rufford Foundation Project led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (ARSA). The winning teams were ranked as indicated below:

1. Ann Thuo - SNRES
2. Kevin/Mary - SPAS
3. Joseph/Kiboke/Wabuti - SAB
4. Vincent/Joseph/Evans/Simon - SAB

The Winner (Ann Thuo) poses with the DVC (A, R & SA) and the Chairman, Green University Committee

The Green Innovation Competition was embraced well by the students and the turnout was commendable. The competition provided a platform for awareness creation on the Green University initiative which created interest, stimulated creativity and continues to instill a green entrepreneurial culture at Karatina university and with the community at large.

Public Lecture on Climate Change at Karatina University

Dr. Richard Munang explaining a point during the lectureKaratina University was privileged to host the 1st series of 2020 Public Lectures on Friday, 17th January 2020 at the Conference Hall, Main Campus with a talk by an eminent Climate Change expert, Dr. Richard Munang, currently the Africa Regional Coordinator for Climate Change at UNEP. This is part of the wider university mission to strengthen and anchor as the driver of global environmental agenda having rebranded as The Green Entrepreneurial University. The lecture was in line with our strategic location and other green initiatives already established and implemented towards the “Green University”.

Dr. Richard Munang donating books to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mucai MuchiriDr. Munang’s presentation was titled “From Extreme Vulnerability to Competitiveness: Changing the Narrative of Africa’s Development Under the Changing Climate”. Dr. Munang is guiding the actualization of UN Environment’s climate resilient development strategy for Africa through coordinating implementation of diverse projects in key economic sectors especially agriculture, and energy as well as informing strategy and policy development from project lessons. He is also the Africa Ecosystems Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA) coordinator in-charge of the strategic and operational roll-out in over 40 African countries.

Dr. Richard Munang (Middle), Dr. Duris Muta, Council Member (Right) and Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho, DVC-AR&SA (Left)In his introductory remarks, Dr. Munang appreciated that Karatina University is the greenest university in the world based on his assessment as a widely travelled global scholar. His talk concentrated on the matters of climate change, exposing the extreme vulnerability that the world is in due to global warming that has very likely exacerbated global economic inequality. The emphasis was on leaving no one behind as countries aspired towards the realization of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and for Africa, our Agenda 2063 that inspire transformation for everyone.

A student leader asking questions during plenary sessionInviting Dr. Richard Munang to Karatina University was fronted through our collaborative partnership with UNEP. The UN body of Environment has recognized Karatina University as one that perpetuate the global environmental issues that mitigate against climate change. This is our contribution as a university and as per our vision of “Inspiring Innovation and Leadership”. The impacts of Climate Change have already resulted to severe storms and floods, prolonged rains and droughts, raging fires, new and emerging infectious diseases and the compounding threats to food security. If action is not taken, climate change will define the health profile of current and future generations, will challenge already overwhelmed health systems, and undermine progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Students raising their hand to ask Dr. Munang questionsAgainst this backdrop, Dr. Munang painted a sympathetic situation of increasing vulnerability in the world, with examples of soaring unemployment among the thousands of youth globally. He emphasized that in Kenya, just like the rest of the world, vulnerability is manifested in drought, floods and food and nutritional security through its effects on food availability and quality, access, and distribution. Climate change has exacerbated malnutrition, reducing nutrient availability and quality of food products.

Dr. Richard Munang with students and staff after the lectureThe point of departure from the earlier gloomy review in his lecture was the realization of abundant opportunities available in efforts towards mitigating climate change. This, he advised would be through innovating on climate resilient actions, products and purposes that would attract the global funding available in trillions of US Dollars. He urged Karatina University students and staff alike to identify and innovate in synergistic strategies including innovation in solar driers, reversal of food losses in value chains and other economic fundamentals that will address societal problems. This also encompasses equipping people with relevant skills and knowledge to provide adaptation measures to meet food security such as greater investment in crop diversification and integrated agriculture-aquaculture practices.

Dr. Richard Munang (coloured shirt) with staff, communityleaders and students after the public lectureIn his concluding remarks, Dr. Munang emphasized that Human Capital can be the force to drive Climate Change especially the talented skillful youths. He urged the audience to look for opportunities available in climate change. He reiterated that to achieve meaningful action towards Climate Change, there is need for selflessness and collectiveness.

Karatina University Coordinated University Leaders Training Workshop II at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge, Naivasha , 2nd - 5th October, 2019.

Vice- Chancellors and Principals of University Colleges from selected universities in Kenya participated in a Leadership Workshop on 2nd- 5th October, 2019 at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge Hotel in Naivasha, Kenya. The theme of the workshop was: Developing Visionary, Effective, and Transformative University Leaders. This is the second leadership workshop coordinated by Karatina University through the sponsorship of DAAD , the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany ( BMZ), Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies ( DIES) and the German Rectors Conference ( HRK). The first workshop took place in April 2019 in the same hotel. Leaders trained during the workshop were drawn from both public and private universities taking in to account the requirements of the Kenya Constitution 2010 on gender and regional balance. The training attracted twelve (12) newly appointed university leaders and one (1) who is serving his second term hence a total of thirteen (13). The objective of the training was to equip the leaders with relevant knowledge for effective and efficient management of their institutions.

The Regional Director, DAAD Ms. Beates- Schindler- Kovats engaged in her presentation

The workshop was organized by a team led by Karatina University Deputy Vice Chancellor (ARSA) Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho as the Project Coordinator and Chairman of Kenya DAAD Scholars Association (KDSA), Mt. Kenya Region Alumni Chapter. Resource persons for the training were drawn from local and international experts who tackled topics ranging from resource mobilization in universities to internationalization. The training was implemented through a variety of methodologies including presentations, case consulting, plenary discussions, group work and practical approaches by the participants thus creating an interactive environment. Based on the feedback from participants, they indicated that the training was very relevant to the nature of their jobs and should be attended by all university leaders to sharpen their leadership skills. One participant commented as follows: “I have attended many leadership trainings since my appointment but this particular one is unique, practical and very relevant to my work. I wish all university leaders can be taken through this training”

Closing Remarks

Karatina University Deputy Vice Chancellor (ARSA) Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho who is the Leadership Training  Project Coordinator making her remarks to the Participants during the closing ceremony

The Chief Guest during the closing ceremony was the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Education , Prof. George Magoha. In his remarks in a speech read on his behalf, the CS urged universities to be dynamic and responsive to the needs of society through providing innovative and quality services to the stakeholders for them to be drivers of change in Kenya. He appreciated the role played by DAAD in promoting quality in Higher Education. The CS appreciated the organizers of the workshop under the leadership of Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho and urged the Commission for University Education to pay attention to leadership issues during quality audits. The representative of the CS issued participants with certificates.

In her closing remarks, the DAAD African Region Director Ms. Beate- Schindler Kovats urged the university leaders to exploit the opportunities available in Germany for their universities including scholarships, collaboration, global networking, capacity building, alumni and partnerships. She appreciated the organizers of the workshop for an excellent training. The Chairman of the Board of the Commission for University Education Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha called for change in strategy in university leadership. He emphasized that universities need to align themselves strategically to achieve their objectives as spelt out in the Universities Act No. 42 (2012). He reiterated that the Commission for University Education will provide the necessary support structures and systems necessary for this achievement.

Participants proudly display their Certificates at the end of the training

After successfully coordinating the two pilot University Leaders Training Workshops, Karatina University has demonstrated leadership role in line with its motto of Inspiring Innovation and Leadership. We are grateful to DAAD for the support accorded to us towards the implementation of the workshops.

Ethics in Social Science Research East Africa Multipliers Lounge Workshop at Karatina University

Karatina University hosted the East Africa Multipliers Lounge conducted in two phases. Phase one was held from 3rd to 5th September, 2019 and phase two with effect from 3rd to 5th December, 2019. Participants from selected universities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania participated in the event on Ethics in Social Science Research.

The objectives of the programme were to enhance the institutionalisation of research ethics culture in East Africa’s universities through capacity building, establish and sustain partnerships at national/regional levels for advancing research ethics in social science research and facilitate the creation of research ethics communities of practice in East African Universities.

The programme was sponsored by DAAD and phase two workshop was officially opened by DAAD Regional Director, Ms. Beate Schindler-Kovats. The programme attracted 27 participants during phase one and 19 during phase two. The trained participants are expected to become multipliers in their respective institutions in order to advance the ethics in social science agenda.

The programme was organized by Dr. Kellen Kiambati, Karatina University as the Programme Coordinator. They utilized 21st century pedagogical approaches that fitted adult learning. We sincerely thank DAAD for sponsoring this programme.

Karatina University Launches A Quality Management System Based On ISO 9001:2015

In line with the new ISO 9001:2015 QMS guidelines, The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mucai Muchiri launched the 2nd Edition of Karatina University Quality Management System (QMS).

This 2nd Edition of the Quality Management System was developed though a consultative process involving the consultant, ACAL Consulting Ltd. Led by Mr. Martin Nyongesa as well as a team of ISO Champions led by Prof. Charles Ngugi (former Director, QA&ISO) as well as Dr. Mugo Mware (current Director, QA and ISO)

This revised QMS incorporates all areas of the ISO 9001:2015 QMS guidelines through a comprehensive process of GAP analysis, process documentation and validation so as to incorporate all relevant legal and regulatory policies and guidelines for the University.

In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor emphasized that all University staff need to embrace the QMS documentation to enhance customer satisfaction as well as enhance planning, implementation and conformance to the ISO standards and make the University that of international repute. He further emphasized the need for the university to attain ISO 9001:2015 certification soonest possible to maintain its high standards of quality.

Karatina University Contacts

Karatina University Main Campus

Kagochi, Karatina, Nyeri County

P.O. BOX 1957—10101, Karatina, Kenya.

Tel: (+254) 20 2176 713/ Mob: (+254) 729 721 200

eMail: info@karu.ac.ke or admissions@karu.ac.ke