President Uhuru Kenyatta Wednesday asked universities to emulate Kenyatta University which has achieved tremendous infrastructural development through internally generated funds over recent years.
The President said this when he addressed staff and students after touring the university where he witnessed successes in development of infrastructure achieved under the stewardship of Prof Olive Mugenda.
The President said KU has since its inception, “served this nation well by developing critical human resource skill required for our nation’s development.”
President Kenyatta also commended the University for Opening Campuses in different parts of the country including remote areas like Dadaab. “This university has brought education closer to all Kenyans,” he said.
The President made the remarks after opening ultramodern complexes which included the impressive Central Administration Complex that will house the universities’ main offices.
The President also opened the Graduate School Building, the first of its kind in the region to cater for all post-graduate students who will no longer scramble for lecture halls with their numerous undergraduate colleagues.
The President later toured Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, which is under construction.
The hospital will have a 600 bed ward and includes a center dedicated to cancer treatment that can handle 76 inpatients at any given time.
“This facility should not only be leading in Kenya it should become a regional example. We want our people to come here instead of traveling to foreign countries for treatments for diseases like cancer,” said the President when he addressed medical students.
The President said the Government strongly supports Public-Private Partnerships which KU has taken advantage of.
He said the referral hospital and the children’s hospital are among the most ambitious projects undertaken in the country in recent years.
The President also directed the Cabinet Secretary for Lands to inquire into a dispute where the university accuses a developer of grabbing its land.
Prof Mugenda revealed that it was President Kenyatta who gave approval for the university to get the funding of the referral hospital when he was the finance minister and has also backed additional plans to construct a children’s hospital.
She outlined some of the infrastructure plans the university is pursuing which include the planned construction of hostels for 10000 students. This will bring to 20000 the number of students housed inside the university.
Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said KU ranks high in the region because of the innovative approaches it has employed.
“This is the first university to have its own graduate school and it is the only one that will have its own research hospital,” he said.
The President earlier witnessed the unveiling of a statue of Founding President Jomo Kenyatta. The statue built by students is in honour of the founding President for his decision to establish the institution in 1965.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero described the administration of the university as patriots and called on Kenyan leaders to compare what they do to what the KU administration has achieved “Nobody will build this country for us if we don’t do it ourselves,” he said.
The Governor said the next time constituency boundaries are reviewed; he would push for KU with a population of more than 70000 people to be a constituency on its own.
On a lighter note, the President was inducted as ‘a comrade’ by student entertainers who gave him an ‘admission number’, a plate and a T Shirt emblazoned with the words Kenyatta University Digital School.