Employees prefer University of Nairobi above peers in ranking

Friday, May 8th, 2020 00:00 |
University of Nairobi. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Employers in the country have ranked University of Nairobi (UoN) as the top preferred university while Mount Kenya University (MKU) has been listed as the preferred private university by an academic study.

The study, which covers 67 varsities, was conducted by CPS International on the “State of Graduate Employability in Kenya” also ranked MKU at position six nationally.

UoN topped with 38.6 per cent followed by Kenyatta University while Moi University emerged third with 30 and 25.1 per cent respectively.

Grandaunts from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture (JKUAT) are the forth most employable in the country after the university was given a 19.8 per cent followed by Nakuru-based Egerton University while MKU scored 17.1 per cent, putting it at number six nationally and top among private varsities.

“From the study findings, on overall university graduate employability ranking for academic year 2019/2020, the probability of employing a University of Nairobi graduate was highest at 38.6 per cent compared to Kenyatta University at 30 per cent, Moi University at 25.1 per cent, Jomo Kenyatta University at 19.8 per cent, and Egerton in fifth position at 18.3 per cent,” says the report which was prepared at the request of Pan African Foundation.

Regarding the private universities, the report adds: “In terms of top-five private universities for overall ranking category includes; Mount Kenya University (18.1 per cent); United States International University-Africa (6.2 per cent); KCA University (6.1 per cent); Strathmore University (5.8per cent); and finally Aga Khan University at 4.8 per cent, placing the institution in fifth place”. 

Maseno University was ranked seventh with 17.1 per cent followed by Technical University of Kenya (10.2 per cent), Masinde Muliro University at number nine with 6.9 while USIU-Africa which was also ranked number two among private universities takes position 10 nationally with 6.2 per cent.

Top officers in fifty national and county government offices, hospitals, multinationals, local organisations, limited companies and non-governmental organisations were interviewed in the study.

 “The study findings indicated that all the employers that took part in this study had recruited graduates in the last 12 months and a medium majority (56 per cent) were satisfied that the new graduates met the skills and knowledge expected of the employer,” the report says.

However, 33 per cent were not satisfied that new graduates hired in the last 12 months met the skills and knowledge expectations while 11 percent are not sure if they have the skills and knowledge expectations.

Graduates from Kiriri Women’s University emerged the least preferred by employers and it was ranked number 67 with 0.1 marks while Kericho-based Kenya Highlands Evangelical University is position 66.

Other universities in the ten-least category are Adventist, Tangaza, Pioneer International University, International Leadership University, Turkana, University of Eastern Africa-Baraton, Africa International University and Hekima University, which scored below one percent.

Among key recommendations by the study are that universities should increase employability of graduates by equipping them with professional communication and critical thinking skills. 

There is also need for universities to consider developing courses that are more relevant to employers’ needs and to improve cooperation between universities and organisations when designing curriculum and study programmes.

Universities should also improve their cooperation with companies and investors to enhance internship programmes to help the employability of the graduates. 

“There is (also the) need to improve documentation and record management by universities for their graduates to increase traceability and promote employer report cards,” it says.

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