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Why Mt Kenya University renamed it’s Kigali campus

Mount Kenya University’s Kigali Campus has been renamed to Mount Kigali University after receiving a charter from the Rwandan government.

The privately-owned institution of higher learning, boasting more than 6,000 students, now joins the list of fully-fledged universities in the country.

The grant of the charter to the university, which has been in operation for over a decade, brings to an end the process of becoming an independent entity which began in 2018.

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The government of Rwanda announced the development on Friday through the office of the Prime Minister after a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame.

Kenyan public universities in Rwanda have found it rough to operate, with Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology eventually closing down after being entangled in a row with the higher education regulator in Kigali, leaving their investments in shambles.

MKU Regional Marketing and Communications Director Henry Musisi said making Kigali campus autonomous heralds a new beginning and will ease learning and subsequent graduation.

He said Kigali campus students had to travel to Kenya for graduation, given the campus was operating under MKU main campus in Thika, Kiambu County.

“We are very grateful to the government of Rwanda for giving us a conducive environment to operate from and with Mount Kigali University now in place, we will continue to deepen our training and research investments in the School of Business, health training and research as well as in the hospitality and tourism sectors, with the key focus being on producing graduates with employability skills that are relevant to the market,’’ Mr Musisi said.

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He noted that Rwanda has been experiencing shortage of manpower in the hospitality and tourism sector, a niche, he said, the university is keen on fixing the gap.

Already, the university has broken ground for the construction of Sh500 million Kigali Paramount Hotel that the management says will act as the regional training centre for hospitality and tourism programmes targeting the larger East Africa market. The facility will be completed this year.

Mr Musisi noted that Rwanda is a big market, especially in higher learning, explaining that once a student completes Form 6, they are at liberty to choose a university of their choice. The government also gives scholarships in prioritised areas.

Mount Kenya University is owned by educationist Simon Gicharu who has been diversifying his investments from education to real estate, media, and hospitality industry, both in Thika and Mombasa where he owns Nyali Golf View Residence.

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