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The project will target beneficiaries across the country since admission to the target institutions and programs is competitive through the University Joint Admission Board. Two fully fledged Universities and 6 of the 24 constituent colleges are targeted under component 1, provision of equipment. The project is building on existing Government focus to strengthen these colleges in order to expand access to science and engineering. The core mandate of the six target constituent institutions is Science and Technology and have already enrolled first batch of degree students in engineering and applied sciences programs. The Government since 2008 has been investing in construction of workshops and other facilities through annual development grants to the constituent colleges. University of Nairobi is an existing University which was deliberately targeted in order to strengthen it and improve its capacity to train and mentor a large number of engineering postgraduate students at Masters and PhD level since it has the highest concentration of engineering PhD faculty in the country at present. Masinde Muliro is the newest fully accredited university and already has 700 students enrolled in engineering programs. The other targeted institutions are: Kenya Polytechnic University College; Multimedia University College; Kimathi University College of Science and Technology; Mombasa Polytechnic University College; Meru University College of Science and Technology; and South Eastern University College (SEUCO). The project will also improve both the learning environment and the quality of teaching in the Wangari Mathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies (WMI).
Component I: Improving Quality and Relevance of STI education programs.
This component will strengthen the teaching and learning environment of the target engineering and applied sciences faculties. Most of the laboratory based degree programs in Science and Engineering currently have irrelevant and inadequate engineering equipment and cannot serve the higher enrollments in these faculties. The project will finance the purchase of identified equipment for existing laboratories/workshops in target faculties of engineering and applied sciences to support the ERB approved engineering curriculum. These will enable the institutions to deliver improved quality programs, meet the ERB requirements thus ensuring that the students are adequately prepared and competitive upon graduation. In addition, the project will also support Video Conferencing (VC) facilities. Three of the target institutions, Kimathi, Mombasa and Multimedia, have functional VC facilities which are supporting learning and networking with other Universities. The University strategy proposes use of ICT for efficiency gains in Student Staff Ratios (SSRs) for each engineering and sciences programs as per the clusters. The enrolment in engineering programs is largely based on available resources including equipment and faculty therefore "closing out" a substantial number of students interested and qualifying for the programs. The target institutions are connected to adequate internet, mainly through the fiber optic cable, a Government initiative and also through the Kenya Education Network connectivity initiatives.
Component 2: Strengthening Human Capital Development for STI Programs
One of the key constraints in STI in Kenya has been the significant low number of qualified teaching staff in the engineering profession. This finding is collaborated by the project's needs assessment that established a gap of 680 qualified masters and doctorate-level in the target institutions alone. This component will support capacity building of existing staff in engineering and applied sciences at Masters and PhD levels. The training will create a pool of qualified teaching staff for engineering and applied sciences programs and will target 750 trainees in order to address part of this gap. The PhD students will carry out research that is relevant to the vision 2030 key sectors. The training approach will be collaborative with relevant international and universities and institutions as well as the local industry expertise that are already supporting the faculties as part time lectures and supervisors. The MOHEST has an existing partnership with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance which will be explored to enhance meaningful industrial attachments, research and development of incubation centers. It is now established that skills in key engineering and manufacturing economic productive sectors such as Aeronautical, Marine, Geothermal, Oil, Gas, Electrical and Organic exploration fields are critically lacking in Kenya. The HEST project will not only provide the requisite numbers but also enhance quality of the graduates in these fields. To promote women participation in science and engineering, a deliberate effort will be made to ensure that up to 250 women benefit from this training in line with GOK 'one third' policy on gender.
Component 3: Improving Quality of Applied Knowledge and Skills in Environmental and Natural Resource Management
This component will help to improve quality of applied knowledge and skills in environmental and natural resource management. The project will support the WMI for Peace and Environmental Studies to upgrade a teaching and learning facility through construction of a learning and experiential center to facilitate transfer of knowledge and skills on sustainable use of natural resources from the faculty to grassroots communities. The design of the learning center is in place and approved. The construction supervision costs will be financed through counterpart funding. The WMI is part of the college of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS) at the University of Nairobi and has 50 acres of land within the University land. The WMI will operate like a "finishing school" for university students, researchers, policy makers, the private sector, community leaders and groups interested in good practices in environmental management and peace building. This will assist the institution attain its goal of transforming both what students learn and how they learn. Noting that Kenya's forest cover has been depleted from 12% in 1963 to 1.7% in 2002 to 2011, the institute's overall aim is to cultivate a better environmental stewardship and management of resources.
Component 4: Enhancement of MOHEST capacity for evidence based Policy formulation and execution of Higher Education Policies and Strategies
This component will support impact evaluation/research; training on strategic university management/governance; and creation of a comprehensive University education database. The project will support an impact evaluation and research to link the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) database to the University Joint Admission Board (JAB) data and to Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) data. This would enable Government to have longitudinal records for individuals combining their examination scores at secondary level with their higher education course or institution preferences, and compare this with the admission offer received from JAB. The linkage will also provide information about Higher Education loans taken out and repayments for these individuals. Once the data had been linked, a research programme will be set up using these data to try and answer a few key policy questions including who
The component will establish a dynamic data linking system to generate data that is reliable and timely for research/analysis. Currently the missing data link is university data on enrolments and examinations. The project will support the creation of a comprehensive university education database at MOHEST to provide data on higher education statistics for enrolments/graduates by programs and gender, levels of infrastructure, staffing and remunerations, linkages and partnerships, and resource utilization and mobilization. These activities are in line with the new University Education law.
The component will also provide training on strategic management and governance for University management teams including the governing councils. This is to improve governance and management of university education for quality, relevance and efficiency. A total of 560 staff including 190 women will be trained. This training will also target private universities and is in line with the new proposed university bill that seeks to harmonize regulations for the public and private universities. The activity will address the major governance problem in the management of many public institutions that was noted by the March 2012 task force report on HEST. The report directs that the performance of the HEST sector will be based on a common set of fundamental values that include among others proactive leadership, protection of national interest, high standards and ability to adapt to changes within the country, regionally and globally.
The overall development objective is to "To provide quality and skilled manpower in order to realize vision 2030 goals (Vision 2030). The specific objective of the project is outlined in the GOK University Strategy, to improve quality and relevance of teaching and learning in target engineering and applied sciences faculties.
Bank support for this project will contribute to supporting Kenya's and the EAC surging demand for quality HEST training and skills development. Improving the teaching and learning environment for Engineering and Science programs requires significant capital investment especially for equipment and staff training, which the Government and the other Development partners are not able to meet at present. The project will support the Government of Kenya with resources towards providing relevant equipment and training the staff at Masters and PhD level. The Bank is one of the major players in the education sector and this project will consolidate this position and provide assistance to Kenya at a critical time of its development path of becoming both a middle income country and be competitive regionally and globally. The project also supports the Kenya Country Strategy Paper 2008-2012 which identifies skills development as a priority under Pillar II in order to support economic development and progress of Kenya to becoming a middle income country. The project enhances other Bank funded projects in Kenya some of which are in physical infrastructure sectors including roads, water and energy; and these sectors require a critical mass of skilled engineers for design, construction and maintenance.
The project will contribute to Kenya's productivity and competitiveness in line with the Vision 2030 and its Medium Term Plan 2013 - 2017. Realizing globally competitive quality education, training and research for sustainable development is one of the key objectives of the social pillar of Kenya's Vision 2030. To realize this, Kenya is committed to improving quality assurance and standards by ensuring that:
(i) relevant curricula and teaching and learning materials are developed;
(ii) appropriate physical facilities and equipment are provided; and
(iii) there is an adequate number of qualified teaching staff for efficient delivery of the curriculum. The project has two key prospects with regard to contributing to these outcomes. First, the project will avail requisite equipment for STIs that will help improve the competencies, quality and skills for the HEST graduates. Secondly, it will support increased numbers of qualified staff at Post Graduate Level in engineering and applied sciences thereby improving quality of research in the technical sciences. The project will have a positive impact on Kenya's environment. Enhancing access to clean, secure and sustainable environment is one of the key objectives driving Kenya's Vision 2030. This is based on the fact that 42 percent of Kenya's GDP is derived from natural resource-based sectors of agriculture, forestry, tourism, mining, water and energy that are closely related to the state of the environment. By supporting the Wangari Mathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, the project will help improve the quality of applied knowledge and skills in environmental and natural resource management.
OLANG'O Susan Achieng - RDGE2