Strathmore University has proposed to start providing engineering degree programs starting from July 2017. This has been occasioned by the incessant shortage of competent engineers to drive Kenya Vision 2030 where skilled engineers are vital. In the region and globally it has been shown that technical skills, internships and innovations are essential components of any engineering discipline. To start the process of introducing the courses Strathmore organized a stakeholder’s workshop on 15th September to brainstorm and tap into the knowledge and experience of various stakeholders in offering engineering degree programmes.
Acknowledging the shortage of competent engineers in the country Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) Registrar Eng. Nicholas Musuni during the workshop said “EBK concerns itself only with engineering courses which seek to produce students who will ultimately wish to register as Professional engineers”. He also noted that the Board does not have a template for leaning institution to copy but guidelines to follow toward course accreditation. He advised Strathmore that it is important for them to benchmark with other learning institutions that already provide engineering education. The Registrar assured the University that they will support whenever they can in the process toward establishing the new courses.
Strathmore seeks to introduce the new courses in engineering through proactive concerted efforts by Academia, private sector and government. Engineering education and technical skills development form the epicenter of technological innovations and value generating industrial processes. No development can ever exist without strong partnership between academia and the private sector. Commercialization of goods and services are the only sustainable path from innovation to a strong economy.
The workshop also provided institutional platform to exchange professional and academic notes on the present and future of competitive engineering education in East and Central Africa. It involved discussions on the proposed degree programmes namely – Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with the aim of ensuring that they are in line with the current private Sector and industry needs. The University underscored the need for these programmes to conform to the competency requirements of Engineers Board of Kenya and the Commission of University Education quality standards for achieving Kenya Vision 2030 aspirations.
Delivering the Keynote speech Permanent Secretary for Energy Eng. Joseph Njoroge commended Strathmore for their bold initiative. “Engineering is transforming human kind for the better with maximum efficiency. Engineering should optimize the life of human beings.” He observed. He said that even though science does not change the application of it is dynamic and changes with times thus the need for dynamism in the course contents for engineering courses.
“Facilities like laboratories are important in engineering education. This requirement for learning infrastructure has limited the number of institutions that are able to offer engineering courses. However for the country to develop we need infrastructure development, and for us to develop the required infrastructure of this Country we need engineers.” Eng. Njoroge said.
Strathmore is one of the few private universities which have shown boldness in introducing engineering courses. There are however many learning institutions till struggling to conform to Engineers Board of Kenya course accreditation requirements.