TUK Innovation efforts pay off as President Ruto announces unwavering support

Innovation and technology are taking the lead in driving the world's economy. Kenya is swiftly positioning herself to train more young people and impart the highly-sought 21st century skills.

The S-Block at the Technical University of Kenya, which President Ruto opened. He also launched the construction of the T and I Blocks at the institution. PHOTO/Presidential Communication Service (PCS).
The S-Block at the Technical University of Kenya, which President William Ruto opened on December 8, 2022. He also launched the construction of the T and I Blocks at the institution. PHOTO/Presidential Communication Service (PCS).

On December 8, 2022, President William Ruto officiated the opening of the S Block and launched the construction of the T and I Blocks at the Technical University of Kenya.

Other top officials graced the event, including Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

The Technical University has the mandate to be a TVET Institution providing education and training emphasizing practical learning, providing opportunities to TVET Qualified students to advance to degree level and also providing TVET education as other universities.

“The university is today the largest institution offering education and training in the broad field of engineering, not only within Kenya but within the entire East African Region,” said Prof. Francis Aduol, TUK Vice Chancellor.

TUK ranked 8th in Kenya during the latest global ranking. It is among the twelve Universities in the list of research-driven institutions nationally.

He noted that Kenya needs to take a pathway of technological advancement in fighting against its problems, including hunger and poverty.

With a student population of 17000, the institution has been offering technical training at Certificate, Diploma and Degree levels, releasing fully-skilled minds into the job market.

Through the Student’s President, Muchoki Kirera, the students requested the President to facilitate the establishment of an Innovation Hub to enable the learners to incubate and fruit their innovative ideas.

Cognizant of the current economic times, he also pleaded with the President to increase funding to university students through a funding model focused on cushioning students against the ever-rising economic hardships.

According to Dr. Omar Farah, Chair TUK Council, the Chairs of University Councils across the country have already submitted their views on education reforms to the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms.

Challenges and partnerships

He highlighted that the Education Sector is facing numerous challenges; funding, infrastructure, and staff welfare, among others.

“Today’s economy is global, driven by technology, powered by information. Our young people are not competing against each other but against young global thinkers. 

We must therefore give them the skills to compete at a global scale, hence the need for technical universities,” said Johnson Sakaja, Governor Nairobi City County.

President Ruto being shown around the innovation quarters at Technical University of Kenya. PHOTO/PCS.
President Ruto being shown around the innovation quarters at the Technical University of Kenya. PHOTO/PCS.

He highlighted the need for a partnership between Nairobi County Government and TUK to curve out solutions required in solving pertinent issues bedeviling Kenya.

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu acknowledged the TUK management for wisely utilizing the finances allocated to the previous projects, urging the President to fund the construction of the I and T Blocks to enable the University accommodate more students.

For Diploma students, who have not been accessing the capitation fund, “…from next year, we will make capitation fund available for the students, to enable the university to continue offering the technical programs it was offering before as a National Polytechnic,” assured Machogu.

Explaining the rationale under which the institution was elevated from a Nation Polytechnic to a Technical University, President Ruto underscored the need for further training of young innovative minds, from Diploma to Degree level and beyond.

“I recommend TUK fraternity for striving in the face of daunting challenges to retain the iconic identity of this institution,” said President Ruto.

He also applauded the institution for providing opportunities to students and graduates in the outside world to further their skills.

“These visionary transformations and bold innovations demonstrate the university is not only committed but also has tremendous potential to lead the way in supporting the rapid actualization of our plan to transform Kenya’s economy across all sectors from the bottom-up,” he observed.

He shed light on the need for partnerships, noting that the government will partner with tertiary institutions, especially TVETs, a move he said is set “…to forge a clear pathway for Kenya to deepen its competitive technical capacity, increase the number of highly-skilled technical personnel and assume global leadership in the transformational innovations, and build an efficient engine to power growth in every sector of our economy.”

Financing education

President Ruto directed the Education CS to work on modalities of government support for the TVET graduates willing to further their studies.

He assured the University of governmental financial support on its bid to establish an independent TVET Institution, adding, “The Ministry of Education should make necessary budgetary arrangements and provide the necessary resources for the construction of the TVET College to commence immediately.”

President Ruto (second left) receives a portrait from TUK Vice Chancellor, Prof. Francis Aduol. PHOTO/PCS.
President Ruto (second left) receives a portrait from TUK Vice Chancellor Prof. Francis Aduol. PHOTO/PCS.

Acknowledging that Kenya has had significant gaps in the technical aspect of development and skilling, he admitted that it is time to establish an Innovation Hub in the University and a Technology Park for the showcasing and further development of all innovations by students and staff.

According to the President, TUK is a benchmark to other countries globally in establishing their technical institutions.

Given the chartering challenges that infused limitations to the University’s mandate, President Ruto revealed that after consulting with the Council Chair and the VC, “… we will rework and re-charter this university and establish it as a Special Technical University and not just a University.”

He also added that the government will work on a framework enabling universities to admit students which the government can support, including providing alternative funding for ease of operations.

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He promised to instruct the concerned ministry to reallocate the land previously allocated to Foreign Affairs Ministry and hand it over to TUK University for expansion.

The President has been keen on education, with a particular record of interest in funding education and promoting the acquisition of technical skills required to boost the nation’s economy through TVET Institutions.

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Mr. Makau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, Media & Communication from Moi University, Kenya. He is a Columnist and Editor with Scholar Media Africa, with a keen interest in Education, Health, Climate Change, and Literature.


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