MINNEAPOLIS – A Christian university based in Nairobi
is opening a science and technology center in an effort to steer its graduates
towards building an industrialized Kenya, the institution’s chancellor
Daystar University’s reputation in media and public relations has led
to the university’s steady growth with a student population of 3,100 on two
campuses. While most of its students are local, Daystar hopes to increase student
in-take from other African countries.
Speaking to Mshale in Minneapolis, Rev. Godfrey
M. Nguru made clear his university’s commitment to broaden scope of its
“Daystar is the first
private university in Kenya
to offer electronic engineering,” Rev. Nguru said. “We will continue to offer diversity in our
programs as [Daystar is] the heartbeat that will impact the African church and
To assist the university’s
outreach and fundraising program, a non-profit organization, Daystar U.S., has been established in Minnesota. It has the task of raising
scholarship and building expansion funds in the U.S for the university’s
students and campuses according to Executive Director Todd Rasmuson.
Because private university tuition
costs are prohibitive to many Kenyan youth, Daystar is partnering with
international sponsors to assist deserving students in garner university
So far, Daystar U.S. annually raises
full scholarships for 150 students. It has also raised funds to the building of
a state-of-the-art women’s dormitory that houses 100 students in its Athi-River
campus. According to Rasmuson, 90 percent of their donations are from Kenya, while the rest is from the U.S.
The Science and Technology
complex is a $4-million-dollar project that will include four buildings as well
as the recruitment of university lecturers who have masters and doctorate degrees.
In the first year of a three-year-campaign the university and well-wishers have
“We would like to thrust
Daystar into Kenya’s
Vision 2030. If we are not science and technologically based then we will be
irrelevant,” Rev. Nguru said.
Vision 2030 is a development
initiative by Kenya’s
government to achieve certain socio-economic and industrial goals by the year 2030.
The first program that will be offered by Daystar from this department will be
electronic engineering, a first for any private university in Kenya to offer
it. The university is also working on a curriculum to offer its students a nursing
As the university grows Rev.
Nguru said he would like to see their graduates in every career field in
addition to its traditional humanities and social sciences emphasis.
The university was the first
in Kenya to offer Community
Development as a degree course offering Kenya’s non-government organization
community local graduates with a focus on social empowerment. Other programs
that are now offered to diversify Daystar’s academic portfolio include
Counseling Psychology, a degree course that was developed to fulfill Kenya’s growing
need for psychologists.
“As Kenya industrializes, people move
from the simple life in the rural areas to the chaotic one in the cities,” Rev.
Daystar U.S. is currently working towards recruiting
students from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana,
Burundi and Rwanda by offering
lucrative scholarships, Rasmuson
Rev. Nguru was in Minneapolis for a week US
tour to meet with potential sponsors and donors.
About Julia N. Opoti
A former Mshale editor, Julia Nekessa Opoti is now the producer and host of the radio show: Reflections of New Minnesotans on AM950 . She also edits/publishes Kenya Imagine.