A project designed to improve graduate outcomes in the UK and Kenya was launched at an online event in early December. The University of Kent has won funding from the EU’s Erasmus+ programme to establish the collaboration with the University of Nairobi (UoN) in Kenya.
The project launch was supported by distinguished speakers among them Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, herself a Kent alumna, the Education Attache from Kenyan High Commission, Dorothy Kamwilu, and Mr. Geoffrey Kimani, Chairman of the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ambassador Omamo said that she was delighted to join in celebrating the start of this exciting programme, a key feature of which is training to improve students’ employability skills and career planning. An illustrious Kent alumna with fond memories of her time in Canterbury, the University is proud to have Ambassador Omamo’s support.
During the project launch, representatives from Kent’s First 500 – alumni who formed the first student cohort when Kent opened in 1965 – shared their insights into career development with an audience of current students.
The two-year project is significant for both Kent and UoN with international collaboration as a means of boosting students’ global prospects at the heart of institutional strategy.
UoN, which is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary, is the top ranked university in Kenya and one of the leading institutions in East Africa. UoN’s Office of Careers Services, which is directed by Johnson Kinyua, was established in 2018 to tackle graduate unemployment levels and is a pioneer in Kenya in this area.
Kent’s well-established, award-winning Careers and Employability Service, which is headed by James Corbin, will play a key role in the project, supporting the development of UoN’s ambitions in the area of employability skills training.
For Kent, the project will give a clearer insight into the Kenyan employment market, allowing a more tailored provision of support to students hoping to find employment in Kenya after graduation. 20% of Kent’s postgraduate students from Kenya studied their undergraduate degree at UoN therefore collaboration in this area will have significant impact.
The link between the career services developed through a connection made between the Kenyan-National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Dr. Anthony Manning, Kent’s Dean for Internationalisation at an event for Kent alumni in Nairobi in 2019.
For more information about the Erasmus+ Key Action 107 funding, please contact Primrose Paskins (P.M.A.Paskins@kent.ac.uk) in International Partnerships.