Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat (VDS) has begun a transformative plan to use higher institutions of learning as catalysts for urban and socio-economic growth.
To this end, the Secretariat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karatina University that will see among others, right ecosystems built to boost urban development around the communities bordering the institution.
“We want to borrow from the best and most successful models where universities have built ecosystems like a city and converted the institution into a University City and centre for urban growth,” said VDS Director General, Dr Julius Muia.
In the MoU, Vision 2030 seeks to deepen collaboration with the university which among other activities includes developing a model of engagement to promote acceptance, appreciation and ownership of the Vision 2030 blueprint.
“We need a master plan for an organised urban development. This MoU is timely because we will be accepting 2,500 more students in the next intake and they will require food, accommodation and security,” said Karatina University Vice Chancellor, Prof Mucai Muchiri.
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The Secretariat is keen to promote improved access to quality education, healthcare, water, security, and environment while entrenching issue-based politics from an academic angle.
“Universities have an important role to play in the nearby communities and in all aspects of socio-economic development. Ultimately, we will begin to realize that by transforming the areas around Universities into cities, the institutions will in turn transform themselves,” said Dr Muia.
A joint publication from Karatina University and VDS on cohesion and national values to guide locals in the area as well as surveys on where graduates end up after school life will be developed to address youth unemployment and policy change.
Prof Muchiri said the institution has already engaged the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on safe cities project to build peaceful and mutually benefiting relationship with nearby communities.