AfDB scholarship scheme to train lecturers in sciences

A new scholarship scheme funded by the African Development Bank is under way, aimed at training more lecturers and boosting teaching in the fields of science, engineering and technology in Kenya’s new universities.

The initiative hopes to strengthen teaching capacity in the country’s more than 15 public universities created in the past three years.

Institutions in Kenya will collaborate with universities in South Africa, Belgium and Germany to share best teaching practices and provide experience to postgraduate learners who will go on to help ease a chronic lecturer shortage, especially in newly accredited universities.

Last month one of two institutions involved initially – three-year old University of Eldoret – admitted 20 students who will undertake science masters courses in agricultural and bio-systems engineering, agricultural processing engineering, soil and water engineering, and power and machinery engineering

It will collaborate with KU Leuven University in Belgium, the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and Egerton University in Kenya.

Eldoret will also join forces with industry in Kenya to provide field and research experience for the students. Among the key collaborating industries are the National Irrigation Board and the Kerio Valley Development Authority.

Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology, or DeKUT, in central Kenya has called for applications and hopes to commence training students in May.

It will enrol potential lecturers on science masters courses in industrial engineering and management, advanced manufacturing and automation engineering and geothermal energy technology, in collaboration with the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau in Germany and the KU Leuven University in Belgium.

There will also be cooperation with local institutions including the Geothermal Development Corporation, KENGEN, the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, and the Numerical Machining Complex, which will provide technical and research support.

In all cases, the postgraduate students will study for two years, must be working in public universities or state companies, and must be aged between 40 and 45 years.

The AfDB has also initiated a project, in partnership with the Kenyan government, to equip workshops and laboratories in public universities and technical institutions.