Turkana University College, in collaboration with Turkana Basin Institute (TBI), is set to become the first African university to offer a Master’s Degree programme in human evolutionary biology.
The varsity will start offering the course in January 2019. The Master’s programme will target students with a degree or relevant postgraduate diploma in biological sciences, archaeology or anthropology.
The University College Principal, Prof. Thomas Akuja, said, “This is the only African university to offer a Master’s programme in Human Evolution Biology.”
He added that the university college lecturers are world experts in the subject, thus guaranteeing the students an education that is relevant in today’s world.
The university college has developed the program’s curriculum with TBI which has over 10 years in palaeoanthropology research expertise. The institute is offering a partial scholarship equivalent to two semesters; tuition and accommodation catered for at TBI’s Turkwel Facility where the classes will also be held.
According to Prof. Isaiah Nengo, Associate Director of TBI, “The scholarship will benefit five students who will be joining the Stony Brook University students in their classes and field studies. They will be getting an American education without leaving Turkana.”
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The new programme covers subject areas like Human Evolution, Archaeological Field Methodology, Pre-history archaeology of Africa, Environment, Ecosystem and Evolution, and Sedimentary Geology and Geochronology, to ensure the students become competent researchers with this added knowledge.
“Africa is the cradle of humanity and a large chunk of the solid evidence providing this fundamental evidence on origins and Evolutions of humans based on vast fossils and archaeological evidence found at the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI),” said Dr. Peter Edome, the Dean of Science at Turkana University College.
Prof. Nengo added that some of the most significant evidence tells the scientific story of human origins comes from Kenya, but to date there has been no degree programme at any level on the subject in the entire country.
Dr Edome further added that with investment, the unique human heritage could be used to support Museum and heritage tourism industry creating significant numbers of jobs.