The University of Nairobi, a pioneer in engineering education in Kenya, partnered with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Ministry of Education to launch the first-ever comprehensive "Tracer Study on Destination of Engineering Graduates from Public and Private Universities in Kenya." This study aims to assess graduate employability and inform curriculum development, ultimately fostering an adaptive educational ecosystem. The Tracer Study Report was launched on Monday, 11th December 2023 at the University of Nairobi Towers.

In her address, Dr. Beatrice Muganda Inyangala, the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Higher Education and Research in Kenya, outlined a visionary plan aligned with the country's pursuit of the objectives of Vision 2030. She emphasized the crucial role of transforming Kenya into a middle-income and industrialized nation by developing a highly skilled human resource capable of driving innovation across various sectors.

Dr. Inyangala stressed the need for collective efforts to enhance the quality and relevance of engineering and applied science education in universities. Despite a commendable increase in the number of universities offering engineering programs, there is an unmet demand for engineering graduates in Kenya. She highlighted a significant statistic revealing the current disparity, where Kenya has one engineer for every 6,300 people, falling short of the ideal ratio of one engineer per 2,000 people for industrial and technological advancement. Dr. Inyangala's address underscored the urgency for transformative measures in Kenya's educational landscape to address this shortfall and propel the nation toward industrial and technological excellence.

The Tracer Study's findings, as presented by Prof. Faith Karanja, Tracer Project Team Lead, highlighted that graduates with the right skill set are assured of employment in Kenya. Employers, while acknowledging theoretical knowledge, identified a lack of soft and interpersonal skills. Recommendations from the study included the institutionalization of University-Industry Linkages and Continuous Professional Development. Click HERE to Download Full report.

Prof. Kiama, VC University of Nairobi, said, "Tracer studies are an essential tool for improving the quality and relevance of training programs in universities worldwide. This is because tracer studies investigate university structures and products and in return, they produce results that first concern the University and then the market." He also reiterated the need for universities maintaining accurate graduate’s databank for future tracer studies and also built a strong alumni base and support.

Prof. Ayub Gitau, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, underlined the study's timeliness in aligning with the Commission of University Education's curriculum review requirements and committed to ensure the findings are shared with all stakeholders.

The launch marks a crucial step towards bridging the gap between engineering education and industry needs in Kenya. The findings and recommendations will equip universities with the knowledge to tailor their programs, ultimately leading to graduates with the skill sets demanded by the market, and propelling Kenya's industrial advancement.