By David Muchui
Meru University College of Science and Technology (MUCST) has joined the autonomous class after it was awarded a charter and other instruments of authority by President Kibaki in a ceremony held at Kenyatta international Conference Centre (KICC).
The institution which will now be known as Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) was among other four University Colleges and two private universities awarded charters.
Besides MUST, other universities accredited during the ceremony are Multi Media University of Kenya, South Eastern Kenya University, Kabianga University and Karatina University.
Likewise, University of Nairobi, Moi University, Kenyatta University, Egerton University, Maseno University and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology have a new start after getting fresh charters in line with the new Universities Act, 2012.
Prior to the enactment of the Universities Act, 2012, the seven universities were operating under individual Acts of Parliament which have been repealed placing both public and private universities under the Commission for University Education.
Speaking during the Charter Award ceremony, the president noted that the establishment of more universities in the country has made university education accessible to all.
“Today, we complete the process of opening the doors of our universities to a critical mass of present and future generations. University education will now be accessible to the youth both in the rural and urban areas,” Kibaki said.
The President lauded the tertiary education community for their proactive role in the growth and expansion of higher education in the country.
Kibaki further reiterated the need for universities to produce graduates with relevant skills and nurture the youth to be job creators rather than job seekers.
“Universities should nurture the enterprising spirit in our young people. This will give them skills for setting up small and medium size businesses which will, in the years to come, develop into large corporations that we can be proud of”, said the head of state.
Higher Education Minister Prof Margaret Kamar challenged the institutions to continually expand infrastructure, human resource base and programmes to create space for more students.
During President Kibaki’s tenure, the number of public universities has risen from seven to 22 autonomous universities.
MUST was established in 2008 as a constituent college of JKUAT and admitted its pioneer students in May 2009.
Other newly established universities include, Maasai Mara University, Kisii University, Eldoret University, Chuka University, Technical University of Mombasa, Technical University of Kenya, Laikipia University, Pwani University, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University.