Hundreds of new students have today Wednesday April 27, 2011 started reporting for their first year university education at JKUAT. The over 4,000 students, some accompanied by their parents/guardians, went through the simplified registration process assisted by University staff.
The students, both admitted through the Joint Admission Board and self sponsored programmes, add to the growing number of students currently pursuing various degrees at the University. As a public university, JKUAT was allocated about 1,200 JAB students from the 24,221 students who will join the institutions this year under regular programmes. The registration process continues throughout the week alongside orientation to be capped next week by one-on one interaction with the Vice Chancelor, Prof Mabel Imbuga.
This year’s candidates are drawn from those that sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2009. The cut-off point for male students is a B of 63 points while that of girls is two points lower (62). A total 81,048 candidates scored C+ in 2009, the minimum entry qualification. A total 20,073 students who sat the examinations in 2008 joined the universities at various dates last year. They had scored mean grades of B plain of 65 points and above.
With the demand for higher education ever rising in the country, students who are excluded by this JAB cut-off but meet the minimum admissions criteria are given an opportunity through the self sponsored programmes. However, recent debate has emerged as to whether the programme should be scrapped and all qualifying students admitted under one regime.
To address challenges of inadequate facilities in public universities, the government has been exploring the possibility of private universities absorbing students under its sponsorship. Currently, the seven public universities and 13 constituent colleges have proved inadequate to absorb all those qualifying for higher education.
The rush by the country’s energy experts to explore new areas of energy sources to mitigate against the high cost and unreliable conventional energy sources is receiving momentum. At least Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has already embarked on two separate and promising research and training initiatives to tap into the country’s abundant but unexploited renewable energy with the potential to supply cheap and reliable energy particularly to Kenya’s 90 percent of the rural populations who live in darkness with no access to modern energy.
In the first project which is planned to commence sometime this month and run for four years, JKUAT has teamed up with two international organizations – Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to scale up rural electrification through the exploitation of a number of renewable energy sources including wind, solar, biomass, mini waterfalls that will provide energy to majority rural people, and thus drive them to productive economic activities with the potential to narrow down poverty levels. JICA will provide funding for the project that will be used to acquire modern equipment for the program’s research while JKUAT will be tasked to undertake research as well as train appropriate personnel to service the renewable energy industry. Read more…