Collaboration to Improve STEM Courses

University of Newcastle, Australia led by Emeritus Prof. Tim Roberts initiated collaboration discussions with the University of Nairobi to boost STEM related courses. The discussions took place in the Vice Chancellor’s Boardroom at 2PM on December 7, 2020.

Collaboration to Improve STEM Courses

 Speaking during the meeting, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, welcomed the initiative. “This is a good initiative. Internationalization is key to our academic life as it helps to generate new knowledge,” he said. He urged Prof. Tim Roberts, who has decades of experience as an academic to share his wealth of experience.

Prof. Madara Ogot, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Enterprise, (RIE) explained further that the collaboration has two components; to nurture Kirinyaga University increase their research output and to nurture as many students as possible to pursue STEM related courses. He observed that STEM is key to the University of Nairobi’s Strategic Plan. He envisioned University of Nairobi advocating for summer schools which will attract as many international students as possible.

Prof. Tim Roberts, gave a detailed brief about Newcastle University. They have 37,000 students from 114 countries. They are 214 in QS World Ranking. They are top 10 in Australia with campuses in Singapore, Sydney and Newcastle. They have $63 Million investment in STEM infrastructure. They also have $36 from government and $136M from the industry. He outlined that their education system is based on experiential learning and problem based learning approaches. University of Newcastle has embraced technology in its teaching. “University has gone into online teaching with online tutorials and group tutorials. Nursing has gone fully online, “ he said.

Prof. Charles Omwando, Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics and Students Affairs, Kirinyaga University, noted that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with the University of Newcastle. He urged the University of Nairobi Management to consider an MoU with Newcastle in areas like Engineering, Law, Nursing among others. He also urged the University of Nairobi to join Australian African Universities Network (AAUN) so that they can work together in guiding policy, doing innovations that help in solving the challenges of the society. “Innovations and advancements start from the University, “he said.

Also present during the meeting were : Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs , Prof. Peter Ngau, Principal, College of Architecture and Engineering, Prof. Rose Nyikal, Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Prof. Bernard Aduda, Principal, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Prof. Enos Njeru, Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. James Machoki, Principal, College of Health Sciences.