ACCESS International Summer School Kenya 2023

Title: "Beyond Classroom Experience in the Lenses of University-Industry Interaction"

Date: 22nd - 26th May 2023

Venue: Mwai Kibaki International Convention Centre, Thika, Kenya


From 22 to 26 May 2023, Mount Kenya University hosted the 3rd ACCESS Summer School at the Mwai Kibaki International Convention Centre in Thika and the School of Business and Economics in Nairobi. This year’s event, themed “Beyond Classroom Experience in the Lenses of University–Industry Interaction”, brought together 30 delegates from Germany, Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Rwanda, and Kenya.

Over the course of five days, participants engaged in panel discussions, company visits, breakout sessions, and excursions aimed at developing strategies for the next phase of ACCESS-UBL activities for 2024-2025. The primary objectives of the summer school were to strengthen relationships between universities and the private sector, expand cooperation and knowledge exchange, enhance organisational structures to adapt to stakeholders’ environments, and promote participatory leadership, innovation, and knowledge transfer for sustainable economies.

The opening ceremony featured keynote speeches from distinguished guests, including Prof. Dickson Andala, CEO of the National Research Fund. Other notable speakers and panelists included Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi, Vice-Chancellor of Mount Kenya University, and Mr. Douglas Kuria, CEO and Managing Director of NeoKenya Mpya Ltd.

A significant highlight of the event was the feature of ACCESS representatives on TV 47 Kenya’s “Morning Café” show, introducing the project to a broader audience. Various interactive sessions were held throughout the week, covering topics such as service-learning in university-business linkages (UBL), opportunities in the digital economy, the role of government in reducing unemployment, and aligning curriculum with labour market needs. Notable presentations included an overview of ACCESS by Dr. Kevin Reuther, insights into university-industry interactions in Kenya by Miranda Pendo, and a keynote speech by Prof. Dickson Andala on the importance of fostering UBL initiatives.

The summer school received funding from DAAD and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), alongside in-kind support from local sponsors such as Jetlak Foods Ltd, TV 47, St. Luke’s Cravers Hotel, Java House, and several others. Participants enjoyed excursions to Nairobi National Park, the KICC, Rift Valley Viewpoint, 14 Falls in Thika, KEVIAN Industry, and BIC East Africa.

In conclusion, the 3rd ACCESS Summer School successfully facilitated discussions and collaborations between academia and industry, significantly enhancing career opportunities for students. The organising committee expressed deep gratitude to Mount Kenya University for its support and is commitment to continuing efforts to strengthen UBL linkages.

More information about the different activities during the Summer School in Kenya can be found on the website of ACCESS partner Mount Kenya University.

Conference Documents

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