Story at a Glance

  • The University of Embu in Kenya partnered with The Education Collaborative to improve how they train ethical and entrepreneurial graduates.
  • This collaboration connected them with universities across Africa to share resources and best practices.

In 2023, the University of Embu emerged as the best-performing public corporation in Kenya according to a government-issued performance contracting report. From a student population of 123 in 2013, the university has grown to over 11,000 students, garnering recognition as one of the most respected institutions in the country. Despite this success, the university leadership identified a key area for improvement: fostering ethical and entrepreneurial graduates.

“While we have developed robust systems for teaching and learning, we realized training ethical, entrepreneurial, and employable graduates doesn’t always follow a conventional path like other subjects.  Yet it’s crucial that it is done exceptionally well,”shared Prof. Daniel Mugendi, Vice Chancellor of University of Embu.

To address the challenge, the university worked closely with The Education Collaborative. The partnership resulted in the forming of a strategic committee to support University of Embu’s needs, as well as those of other institutions across Kenya and Eastern Africa, helping them explore deeper collaboration opportunities.

“While we had existing partnerships with other public universities like Rongo University, we had never collaborated with private universities like Riara University, Strathmore University, or United States International University, Africa,” shared Prof. Mugendi. “Thankfully, these institutions had experience and progress in implementing ethics training within their programs. Now, we have become a united front, with richer collective experiences and resources, working towards a common goal of improving student outcomes”

Touching on the reach of The Education Collaborative’s hub approach, Prof. Mugendi highlighted the benefits of collaborating with universities outside Kenya. “The Education Collaborative has brought universities like Cavendish University Uganda, Kepler University in Rwanda, and State Polytechnic of Rwanda together. This is truly exciting for us,” he said.

“Collaboration within the region is easier now, especially since we apply for grants that require partnering with different institutions. Our collaboration helps us cast a wider net and has created a very unique partnership, particularly between public and private universities. This is not very common in our region.”

Through working with The Education Collaborative, the institutions are able to draw on resources from each other, and also tap into the Collaborative’s resources from a wider pool of partner institutions. For Prof. Mugendi, the advantages are significant.

“The Education Collaborative has brought a lot of benefits,” he asserts. “Members are talking about higher education transformation, leadership, ethics, and, above all, training more entrepreneurial and employable graduates.”

Prof. Mugendi attributes the increased emphasis on incorporating ethical training into curricula across the region to the partnerships forged through The Education Collaborative. “These are all results of conversations we are having about training ethical, entrepreneurial, and employable graduates. Our partnership through The Education Collaborative has ingrained these ideas into the ethos of our universities.”

“Initially, we faced understandable skepticism from university leaders, as this is such an unusual arrangement,” shared The Education Collaborative. “Today, we see how Prof. Mugendi appreciates the sense of community offered by The Education Collaborative and has since become an advocate and champion for our cause. The Education Collaborative’s approach is coordinated, ensuring measurable outcomes. It is organic in nature, designed for Africans by Africans.”

Are you are an insitition located in East Africa and interested in collaborations, partnerships, and resource sharing, join us at the 2024 East Africa Hub Convening.

Explore our Impact Publication to learn more about how The Education Collaborative is driving impact through partnerships.