Plans to elevate Laikipia University College into a fully fledged university have entered the homestretch after stakeholders converged to ratify the proposed institution's charter.
Laikipia University College is among 15 others of higher learning that are set to have their status elevated in two months by President Mwai Kibaki before he retires.
The meeting to ratify the charter was attended by, among others, Assistant Minister for Industrialisation Ndiritu Muriithi and his Internal Security counterpart Simeon Lesirma.
Laikipia was elevated from a campus of Egerton University to a university college in 2009. Its population has since grown from 1,200 to 4,660 students. It has three other campuses in Nyahururu town, Naivasha and Maralal that house 526 students. The figure is expected to rise to 10,000 once the institution is promoted.
The institution is considered to have prime environment for high altitude sports training and has a unique arid and semi arid lands development institute. Police science courses from certificate to degree level are also offered at the campus.
Assistant Minister Simeon Lesirma hailed the setting up of arid lands course, saying it would help in the positive exploitation of available resources in dry area and check over-reliance by residents on cattle.
Muriithi hailed the Government for investing Sh240 billion for development of the college and pledged that if elected governor for Laikipia County, he would ensure the university receives Sh150 million annually for research and innovation development at the university.