UNESCO China Funds –in -Trust project phase III

The School of Engineering is spearheading a project, Higher Technical Education in Africa for a Technical and Innovative workforce (CFIT III), which is an initiative by UNESCO with support from the People’s Republic of China. It aims at strengthening the linkages between academia and industry and will among other things support a review of the existing engineering programs holistically in order to lay strategies for improvement.

 According to the Dean, School of Engineering, Assoc. Prof. Dorothy Okello, some steps had been taken towards implementing the set activities all aimed at making the needed improvements on the curriculum in order to produce better engineering graduates. She explained during the stakeholder engagement that the School of Engineering specifically undertook the study on research infrastructure because the university, according to its vision and strategic direction, was moving towards becoming research-led. She called for continued engagements and contributions from the stakeholders whose questions and contributions were vital in enabling the School to improve. 

‘The School of Engineering is implementing the CFIT III project through which intervention, the unit is expected to produce better trained, skilled, knowledgeable and highly employable engineering graduates that fit into the needs of the industry’, she emphasised. The studies conducted included the Graduate Tracer Study, the Labour Market Analysis, and infrastructure at School of Engineering.

 The presentation about the state of infrastructure in the School of engineering identified a number of areas that needed to be addressed across all engineering programs namely civil, mechanical, and electrical. The apparent gaps identified were staffing with less than 50% staffing levels. There was lack of space dedicated for graduate students, lack of specialists in many specialties, the limited academic staff, inadequate or even obsolete equipment as well as lack of maintenance policy for the equipment in the school. Among the recommendations made was that the school of engineering needed to designate reading space for graduate students, drawing timetables for master’s programs across the schools as well as ensuring that departments had strategic plans for guided approaches in recruitments in addition to involving graduate students as stop gap measures to address the staff shortage challenge.

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