Monday, February 12, 2024

On Monday, February 12, 2024, a delegation from the Ghent University in Belgium paid a courtesy call to the Office of the Vice Chancellor. The delegation led by the Rector, Prof Rik Van de Walle, was received by the University of Nairobi Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation and Enterprise, Prof. Margaret Hutchinson who was representing the Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama. Also present were deans and faculty from various departments.

University of Nairobi and Ghent University have enjoyed strong collaboration through the years. This was echoed by Prof. Peter Wasamba from the Department of Literature. “Students and staff from the two Universities have participated in exchange programs. Currently, the University of Nairobi has one student who is participating in an exchange program at Ghent University,” said Prof Wasamba.

The University of Ghent and UoN are also working on the Open Door fellowship program which seeks to give women a chance to participate in science abroad. This program aims to strengthen the empowerment of women through working on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects. The program enables women to have good negotiation skills, public speaking skills, communication skills, and scientific skills and also focuses on mainstream gender in Africa among other long-term benefits. This is one area that the University of Nairobi is looking to partner with Ghent University. Prof. Hutchinson mentioned that the University of Nairobi is working on providing quality training for students, in entrepreneurial learning and research innovation in collaboration with external partners.
“Such collaborations will help the University to play a role in mitigating global challenges such as climate change,” she added. She concluded by saying that the collaboration between the University of Nairobi and Ghent University is in line with the University’s strategic plan which is to make the University globally competitive through strategic partnerships and research.

As one of the most prominent public research universities in Belgium, Ghent University is currently placed in the top 150 of the QS World University Rankings. Having been established in 1817, Ghent University presently stands as one of the biggest academic institutions in Flanders, housing 41,000 students, including over 4,150 international learners. Ghent is also one of the leading universities in The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities.