Utsunomiya University (Japan) and MUST collaboration
Meru University of Science and Technology (MUST) hosted guests from Utsunomiya University (Japan). The guests who included Prof. Tomohide NATSUAKI, Dr. Takeshi KUROKURA and Dr. Yutaro NERIYA were received by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo.
The relationship between Utsunomiya University and MUST began through an Inter-university exchange project: “Programme for developing human resource to contribute to SDGs by merging African potential and Japanese scientific technology.” The project kicked off on 24th March 2021 with participants from Utsunomiya University (Japan) and six (6) African Universities among them, Meru University of Science & Technology (Kenya), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Kenya), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (Tanzania) and University of Ghana (Ghana).
The project has been coordinated by Dr. Cynthia Mugo from the Department of Biological Sciences, MUST. Through this Inter-University Exchange project, the participating Universities have been able to conduct the following:
- The Compulsory Intensive Course “Global Management”
- Joint Student Summit
- Web Symposiums
- Student exchange
The aim of the Compulsory Intensive Course is to develop personnel who can contribute to joint activities between Africa and Japan by understanding the potential of local communities and achieving sustainable development based on the social structure. Our postgraduates from all the Schools in MUST have been immensely engaged in these lectures and have been awarded certificates. We have had our very own academic staff participate in offering the lectures such as Prof. Joshua Arimi from the School of Agriculture and Food Science.
The best students from MUST in the first compulsory intensive course held from 6th to 24th September, 2021 are:
Elsa Gatwiri – MSc. Molecular Biology (Department of Biological Sciences)
Edwin Oduor – MSc. Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management (Department of Biological Sciences)
The best students from MUST in the second compulsory intensive course held from 1st June to 15th July 2022 are:
Daisy Kiprono – MSc. Molecular Biology (Department of Biological Sciences)
Purity Wanja Jason – MSc. Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management (Department of Biological Sciences)
The next compulsory intensive course will be held in June 2023 and all postgraduate students are advised to participate.
Additionally, our postgraduate students have been involved in the Joint Student Summit. This Student Summit is a conference where overseas master’s students gather and make presentations about their research in relation to the perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals. MUST is represented by Victor Kemboi and Moses Njoka who are MSc. students in SAFs. Amwoma Lorraine Moindi, an MSc. student in the School of Agriculture and Food Science (SAFS) was awarded best presentation in the first student summit.
Through the project nine (9) web symposia that have been conducted, so far our very own Dr. Eric Mworia from SAFs was one of the presenters in the 6th Symposium held in October 2022.
With regard to the Inter-University Exchange, the actual exchange for students and faculty for both short-term and long-term visits has begun in all the participating Universities. It is good to acknowledge that this February, one of our Postgraduate Students, Daisy Kiprono pursuing a MSc. Molecular Biology in the School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, having attained the highest scores in the Compulsory Intensive Course will be traveling to Utsunomiya University, Japan for a long-term period of up to 12 months. Our faculty staff, Dr. Cynthia Mugo will also be going on a short-term visit to participate in discussions regarding the promotion of the project, international education on SDGs, and relationships among African and Utsunomiya Universities.
It is through this program that Prof. Tomohide Natsuaki was able to form a joint collaborative research with Dr. Cynthia Mugo (MUST) together with a team of researchers in JKUAT led by Dr. Elijah Ateka and the team present today from Utsunomiya University. Together they received a research grant funding for the promotion of Joint International Research under the research topic: “Development of rapid detection methods for pathogenic viruses of agricultural crops and vaccines to prevent viral diseases in Kenya.”
As a University we are thankful of the opportunities that this great collaboration has given to our staff and students.