By M&M Reporter
Mt Kenya University has been granted a charter by the government of Rwanda to operate as a full fledged university in the country.
The move makes it autonomous and running independent of its sister institution in Thika, Kenya and will hold graduation ceremonies, unlike in the past where graduating students had to travel to the headquarters in Thika for graduations.
“Reference is made to the assessment that was conducted by a team constituted by the Higher Education Council (HEC) to assess the readiness of MKU, Kigali to change its status to the proposed Mount Kenya International University of Technology… I am therefore pleased to recommend the approval of the change of status,” said Rwanda Higher Education Council Executive Director Dr Emmanuel Muvunyi on Friday.
The charter means MKU will be only university with Kenyan roots operating in Rwanda.
Speaking when he received the charter, MKU founder and Chairman Prof Simon Gicharu said the change of the university status in Rwanda had been necessitated by the need to overcome cross border challenges in running the institution.
“With the growing number of students, we thought it would be wise to make MKU, Rwanda autonomous to serve them better. And the government of President Paul Kagame continues to be very supportive. We thank him for this” he said.
Dr Muvunyi advised the MKU, Rwanda Vice Chancellor Edwin Odhuno to make necessary adjustment to fast track the transition.
“MKU, Kigali is requested to submit to the HEC a plan indicating how these recommendations will be implemented,” he said.
The growth experienced by MKU is in comparison to its local peers that area folding up campuses in neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, the university will also operate a commercial radio station in Rwanda, upgrading what to date has operated as a community radio.
The institution expects to open up opportunities for students of communication in the country while growing its revenue streams.
“We started as a Community Radio with no Commercial purpose. In the course of our transformation from a Community station to a Commercial station, we faced numerous challenges,” said Gicharu.
He added that the radio station has already been equipped with essential equipment including outside broadcasting van that would enable it run commercially.
It has also hired additional staff that will ensure than it runs as a commercial enterprise and expanded the premises that it has been operating in to give the expanded team adequate space.
“All these are already in place. Royal FM can broadcast any event live on location, with the outdoor broadcasting van and mobile studio,” said Gicharu.
“We shall also continue opening up job opportunities for young Rwandans, and supporting the growth of indigenous talent by, for example, sponsoring the Talent Search.”
Royal FM will be operated by the MKU’s school of Communication and Mass Media. Part of plans to grow its audience base will include setting up five English language training centres across Rwanda