Mount Kenya University is the largest private university in Kenya, hosting more than 21,000 students alone on its main campus. With these enormous numbers, one important question continues to ring in many people’s minds; how does it accommodate these many students?
The first aspect of this question involves the reasoning that increases in population without a corresponding increase in facilities undoubtedly leads to the reduction of quality. So, what does MKU focus on?
Martin Owilah, President of MKUSA, argues, “Our institution is founded on the principle of giving equal opportunities to deserving students and with the current increase in students supposed to join universities, we had a duty to give as many students as we can opportunities to pursue their dreams. Quality is not necessarily compromised because more facilities have been acquired.”
To our next aspect and most importantly, how does the institution ensure all students are comfortably accommodated.
Tally Musee; Minister of Health and Accommodation MKUSA, believes that the institution has put in place a system that ensures all students are well accommodated. He argues,
“We have an independent bank account allocated for housing and all students who seek university accommodation must use that account alone. A student pays the rent and is given a room through the accommodation office. This curbs any clandestine intentions by students who think they can benefit from the operations.
Also, since first years have little or no knowledge about MKU and its environs, they are given the first priority during rooms’ allocations. “
Martin Owilah adds, “Besides freshers, we care for persons with physical disabilities by securing hostel rooms in ground floors and those in the vicinity of classrooms and resources. We also take into serious consideration the security of students and especially the ladies hostels where cautionary rules are applied.”
However, MKU cannot accommodate all its students internally so how are other students catered for?
Tally Musee argues, “We have made partnerships with business persons running hostels around the institution to accommodate some students. We inspect the hostels and come up with recommendations which the hostel managers consider before making a settlement. Our main focus in these agreements is not necessarily the cost of rent but how comfortable and secure the students are plus the location factor.
With huge populations, health can be easily compromised. What does MKU do to ensure all students are healthy?
Tally Musee argues, “Focus has been put on the quality of water the students have access to. The administration under our recommendation has made efforts to purify water for consumption and currently more than 20 purifiers are under installation around the institution, in major buildings and hostels to ensure easy access to clean and safe water. We also have a Health Week Every semester to sensitize on cleanliness.
With this relative success in accommodating students by Mount Kenya University, there is a lot that can be picked up from them and implemented in other institutions