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Germany and Kenya to establish university of applied sciences

A binational university of applied sciences is set to be established in Kenya as a joint project with Germany, it has been announced, in order to help upskill the Kenyan workforce to meet the demands of the economy.

The declaration of intent to establish the university was signed at the German-African Business Summit in Nairobi. Photo: flickr/ninara

The university is expected to have between 4,000 and 5,000 students within ten years of opening

The Eastern African-German University of Applied Sciences is expected to serve as a model of a university of applied sciences which is closely connected with industry, to strengthen the ties between education and business.

The institution, which is projected to have a capacity of between 4,000 and 5,000 students within ten years of opening, will specialise in teaching in the subjects of mechanical, electrical and civil engineering.

It will also teach entrepreneurship, and provide TVET teacher training.

“Kenya is developing into a regional economic and technological hub”

A declaration of intent to establish the Eastern African-German University of Applied Sciences was signed at the German-African Business Summit this month in Nairobi by Jutta Frasch, the German ambassador to Kenya, and Fred Matiang’i, the Kenyan Minister of Education.

The details of funding this institution are still under review, but an intergovernmental agreement on the financial aspects is in the pipeline.

The financial contribution from the German side, however, will be focused on the curricula development, teacher training and training of research staff, as well as the deployment of German lecturers and administrators to work with their Kenyan counterparts, according to Helmut Blumbach, DAAD regional director, Nairobi.

“The idea is not to build a new university from scratch but to stage an open competition among existing Kenyan universities which would like to remodel their programmes along the principles of a university of applied sciences,” he told The PIE News.

It is also expected to cater to both businesses and students from across the East African region, Blumbach added.

Many education stakeholders in Kenya view the German universities of applied sciences “as a model for practice-oriented academic training offering qualifications relevant to the labour market”, commented Blumbach.

“The country’s academic and higher education sector are experiencing rapid growth”

And there was already interest from universities of applied sciences in Germany to participate in a collaborative project with Kenya.

“With its growing industries, improving infrastructure, creativity in ICT development and thousands of business start-ups, Kenya is developing into a regional economic and technological hub,” said Blumbach.

“It is therefore an ideal environment to create a model of a technical university which is closely linked and adapted to the needs of the booming economy.”

This project will help further cooperation between Germany and Kenya, said Margret Wintermantel, president of DAAD.

“The country’s academic and higher education sector are experiencing rapid growth, the economy and diverse industrial branches are booming, there’s a vibrant entrepreneurial scene of medium-sized companies,” she said.

“I am delighted that, with this new project, we can further intensify our cooperation with Kenya and the region of Eastern Africa.”

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