Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology plans to open three satellite campuses in Siaya County to tap into the growing student population.
Vice Chancellor Stephen Agong’ said campuses will be opened in Miyandhe, Siaya township and Kapiyo.
“We want to make tertiary education accessible and affordable to all young men and women of this region through establishing campuses at the grassroots to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor,” said Prof Agong’.
Speaking during the university’s eighth graduation ceremony that was held virtually last week, the VC stated that a modern research complex complete with hostels and conference facilities is under construction on 37-acre land at Miyandhe Campus.
The facility will have three accommodation blocks, administration unit and a high-end laboratory for naval sciences.
“We’ve already spent Sh140 million in establishing the project and it will be completed soon,” said Agong.’
He revealed that once completed, the centre will require equipment worth Sh250 million.
The VC said the project is expected to attract international students and investors to the region.
“Home-stay tourism is likely to pick up in the area as international students will be coming at the institution and would like to have a feel of the local community,” he said.
The project, which is set to transform Uyawi, Nango and Lihunda trading centres, is being funded by the Government of Kenya.
In order to boost teaching and research in agriculture, the university has also established the School of Agricultural and Food Sciences located on a 38-acre piece of land in Siaya township.
The VC added that a tuition block complex under construction on the 42-acre piece of land at Achiego Campus – a distance of 3km away from the main campus will house teaching and learning spaces and laboratories for the schools of Engineering and Technology and School of Spatial Planning and Natural Resource Management.
“At Kapiyo, 20 km away from the main campus has been earmarked for the development of a botanical garden. This will serve the purpose of research undertaking and ex situ conservation of the biodiversity around Lake Victoria,” explained Agong’, adding that the university expansion will enable them to provide relevant technical courses, which will boost the economic development of the region.
He said that they have placed emphasis on internationalisation of programmes to expose staff and students to different experiences from abroad and facilitate technology transfer.
The Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research Simon Nabukwesi, who was the chief guest during the graduation, said that the Government is committed to prioritise such projects.
“We’re going to ensure that the facility is completed, equipped and put to use,” he said.