PS challenges varsities to focus on innovative research projects
Institutions of higher learning were yesterday urged to focus on encouraging post-graduate students to engage in research.
University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi, said the institutions should not only provide academic training to the youth but also in research activities in a bid to increase knowledge.
He said progress with regards to research has been made since inception of a World Bank sponsored project, the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence projects (ACE II).
“The projects have assisted in delivering quality post-graduate education and build collaborative research capacity in ﬁve regional priority areas: Industry, agriculture, health, education and applied statistics,” said the PS.
He made the remarks after assessing the project located in three universities.
The ACEII centres are based in Egerton University, Moi University and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology.
In an effort to check the progress made by the projects towards realising their objectives, the ACEII national steering committee led by Nabukwesi, visited the laboratories where teaching and advanced level of research takes place.
Nabukwesi lauded the innovative projects created by graduate students under the projects’ sponsorship and the man-power involved in coordination at the three institutions.
He asked universities to be innovative and see how best they can support such programs by seeking resources to support specific areas of research.
The PS urged project leaders to continue expanding their interaction with the community through the projects.
Objective of ACEII is to strengthen selected eastern and southern African higher learning institutions to deliver quality post-graduate education and build collaborative research capacity in the regional priority areas.
“The national government aims at exploring ways of expanding the ACE II projects, with some resources obtained locally as well as seeking partnerships,” Nabukwesi said.
He added: “We want to follow in the footsteps of the good examples we have observed and see if we can add more universities to the project.
We can build on this, because we have so many young universities setting up research,” said the PS.
The PS cited Tom Mboya University College, which has established a malaria research project adding that through collaborations with willing countries, the research centre would go a long way in providing a solution to eliminating malaria infections within the continent.