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Moi University weans Bomet University College

Bomet Handing Over 4

Bomet University College Chairperson of Council, Prof. Esther W. Muchira Tirima receives signed documents from Moi University Council Chairman Dr. Jeremiah Ntoloi Ole Koshal as members of Bomet University Council and Vice Chancellor of Moi University Prof. Isaac Kosgey look on.

The lush tea plantations from Kericho town and the meandering tarmacked road connive to form the beautiful scenery of the great South Rift region. The journey leads to the outskirts of Bomet town where lies an emerging academic giant. Welcome to Bomet University College. Surrounded by protruding hills from all angles like a village under attack by the Maasai warriors and the beautiful Tenwek Water Falls just five kilometers away; then the marvelous sweet air that hits your nostrils are a testimony that this is a region with fertile soils and conducive climatic conditions that portend a rich agricultural culture.

Bomet Handing Over 3The College was first established as a Campus of Moi University in 2016 before quickly becoming a Constituent College. The rapid infrastructure development ongoing at the College is changing the skyline of Bomet town. The Ksh1.3 billion projects comprising mega tuition block with 23 lecture halls, multi-purpose hall, library and two hostel blocks, are true commitment by the Government to turn the constituent college of Moi University into a fully-fledged university in the near future. Forget about the protracted legal tussles that the college had with the former Bomet County government. Now the new management under the stewardship of Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso is in full-scale support of the project. No wonder barely a year since the College Campus was gazetted as a University College, Moi University on Thursday March 29, 2018 decided to wean its baby, leaving it to stand on its own feet even as it awaits its own Charter. The handover ceremony of assets and liabilities was done at the College’s main campus.

Despite a myriad of challenges such as inadequate funding, facilities, qualified academic staff and land, the College’s Acting Principal, Prof. Thomas Cheruiyot, was upbeat that they have the resolve to surmount the hurdles with the help of Government and all our stakeholders.

“We endeavor to be chartered within three years and these calls for support from Moi University, County and National Government and other key stakeholders,” said Prof. Cheruiyot in his opening remarks at the handover ceremony. “In delivering our vision, our mission is to provide a conducive environment for discovery, preservation and dissemination of knowledge; to nurture critical inquiry, creativity and engagement for social transformation and sustainable development.”

Exuding confidence that the College will endeavor not to be ordinary, Prof. Cheruiyot envisioned the College to deliver unique curricula and apply innovative means of delivering acquisition of knowledge; foster independent and critical thinking among students; promote cultural and social diversity; inculcate innovative thinking, creativity, and touch of excellence in academic and scholarship activities and also promote relevance.Bomet Handing Over 5

The College Chairperson of Council, Prof. Esther W. Muchira Tirima, noted that they had been handed a healthy baby amid challenges but promised to be focused on science technology and innovation and endeavour to join the few green universities in Kenya.

“This focus is to fulfill the charge to provide a workforce that will secure Kenya’s place as a middle in-come country and build the Country’s, County’s and region’s human capital to launch Kenya into the category of developed countries. We seek to offer market-relevant, cutting-edge academic and professional programmes characterized by linkages with industry and partnerships that will address and solve the problems and challenges of this county and country. In addition, we purpose to ensure that graduates of Bomet University College are tutored in the values that will produce great citizens of this nation, region and global community,” said Prof. Tirima.

The new Moi University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Sanga Kosgey, urged the College to start on the right footing by making right decisions to come up with vibrant programmes to sell to the market. He advised the College to strive to cultivate their own niche so that they are not a replica of Moi University.

“It should never be lost on you that the education landscape has changed amid scarce resources. This calls for proper planning and rigorous resource mobilization strategies. You must have strategic as well as master plans for the College to see which programmes and events are important to market you. Networking with key stakeholders such as Government and collaborations with other universities will help you in both infrastructural and human resource development of the College. You should also not forget to learn extensively from your mother, Moi University, because we have already nurtured many Colleges into fully-fledged Universities,” said Prof. Kosgey.

Bomet Handing Over 1Prof. Kosgey reiterated the need for the College to work with counties around its catchment area. The College’s major catchment area comprise Counties of Bomet, Narok, Kericho, Nyamira and Kisii. He promised Moi University’s continued support in mentoring it, since it is still a Constituent College of Moi University.

Moi University Chairman of Council, Dr. Jeremiah Ntoloi Ole Koshal, cautioned the young College against sole dependence on the Government capitation or student fees, noting that the avenues need to be much broader.

“Today's competitive universities depend on research funds and grants. Bomet University College thus should widen its scope and seek to raise resources from research institutions, foundations and collaborations with other universities and institutions. All these should be factored in your Strategic Plan,” said Dr. Koshal.

He advised the College Council to vigorously mobilize resources for infrastructure development and urged the local community to support the noble cause.

The College should avoid the mistakes of the current universities, which largely include uncontrolled recruitment and yielding to political pressure to do things that will later come to hurt the institution. The College should never allow support staff to drive the budget of the institution; the core function of the institution is education and training and not to act as an employment bureau like most of our universities today. Therefore, recruitment should be merit and need-based, more so in the academic departments,” advised Dr. Koshal.

The ceremony was attended by both Councils and Management Boards of Moi University and Bomet University College and staff and students. The commissioning of the new tuition block worth Ksh155 million whose works are 70 per cent complete is set for this June. Bomet Handing Over 2

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