20 May 2018

Kenya: Researchers Tell Dons Innovation the Way to Go

Education experts have called on university lecturers to commercialise their research and focus on innovation to help students create jobs after they leave campus.

Researchers decried the high number of jobless graduates in the country and blamed universities for failing to focus on innovation.

Data released in March this year by the Kenya Integrated Budget Survey shows that at least 1.4 million Kenyans are unemployed.

Speaking during the International Research Conference that was held at Zetech University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Technology (JKUAT) lecturer Henry Bwisa urged universities to focus more on promoting entrepreneurial innovation in Kenya's higher learning institutions.

"There is need to enforce the application of better solutions to solving existing problems, as well as promote students and faculty innovation," he said.

Prof Bwisa said few university dons engage in research and a small number of researchers' commercialise their output.

Zetech University Vice Chancellor Njenga Munene said that research plays a significant role in developing effective academic systems.

"This conference created a platform for the exchange of ideas that address the critical role innovation plays in advancing education, IT and business," said Prof Munene

The VC called on scholars to ensure their research findings develop into practical solutions for the country and urged students to think differently so as to make the most of the university education.

Zetech University's Academics, Research and Extension Deputy Vice Chancellor Alice Njuguna said there is need to bridge the gap between varsities and governing bodies in the country especially in the area of education, innovation and research.

"It is important that varsities collaborate with entities such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of ICT, and institutions such as KEMRI to promote innovation in research and promote patenting of ideas birthed by Kenyan researchers," Dr Njuguna said.

The forum was organised in collaboration with Research Acies Publications that seeks ensure learner benefit from a rich campus experience.


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