Universities Collaborate with Industries to Enhance Youth Skills

In a two-day forum hosted by Mount Kenya University (MKU) at the Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre, representatives from 12 Kenyan universities and more than 10 companies in finance, manufacturing, and transport sectors gathered to explore avenues for collaborative efforts between academia and industry. Themed “Synergizing Skills: Bridging Academia and Industry for Career Excellence,” the event aimed to pave the way for imparting essential employability skills to students.

Academic-Industry Collaboration

The participants, including universities such as Karatina University, Kenyatta University, and industry players like Equity Bank, Magfre Ltd, and HACO Industries, engaged in fruitful discussions on fostering collaboration. The forum addressed the crucial need for bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired in universities and the practical skills demanded by industries.

Insights from Industry Leaders

Simon Gitau, Super Metro Thika Road Operation Manager, highlighted the misconception about the transport industry, emphasizing the broader aspects of human resource management and technology development beyond conventional perceptions. Trizah Wainaina, a customer service manager at Equity Bank, endorsed the service learning concept and proposed integrating service etiquette training into university curricula.

The Role of ACCESS Program

The event was supported by DAAD through the African Centre for Career Enhancement & Skills Support (ACCESS), a program that MKU has been actively involved in. The ACCESS program focuses on enhancing students’ careers, fostering research activities, establishing university-business linkages, and promoting service learning. MKU, since joining ACCESS, has organized academia and business breakfast meetings to identify the skills sought by industries and align students’ education accordingly.

Technology Integration for Skill Development

During deep discussions, participants explored the potential of technology in developing students’ skills. The lead coordinators of the ACCESS program underscored the importance of universities and industries collaborating to review and develop curricula that align with market demands.

Call to Action

Dr. Henry Yatich, ACCESS MKU Coordinator, urged universities and industries to forge stronger alliances and mutually contribute to curriculum development. The collective effort, he stressed, would not only meet market demands but also enhance the employability of graduates.


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