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UoN Unveils Kenya’s First AI Master’s Program with New AI School

  • May 27, 2024
  • 2 min read
UoN Unveils Kenya’s First AI Master’s Program with New AI School

Kenya’s largest university, whose motto is “Unity and Work,” has officially launched its School of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This exciting development was announced by the university’s newest Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Verkooijen. Prof. Verkooijen was sworn into office by President William Ruto, Chancellor of all universities, in early February. He was introduced to university staff, students, and other relevant authorities on Saturday, February 3, 2024.

Prof. Patrick Verkooijen, 55, brings a wealth of experience and academic excellence to his new role. He is an alumnus of prestigious institutions such as Harvard University, the University of Amsterdam, The Fletcher School of Tufts University, and Wageningen University and Research. As the CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, he is renowned for his exemplary leadership and commitment to fostering a dynamic and globally competitive environment. He emphasizes the critical balance between the pursuit of knowledge and the commercialization of innovations.

In a recent interview on Kenya’s premier Citizen TV, Prof. Verkooijen highlighted the importance of the new AI program in preparing students for the future. “We are going to do this because it has an economic growth trajectory. We have the best computer science and business entrepreneurship students, and by combining this with innovation, we have a solid foundation for the future,” he said. He stressed that AI and emerging technologies will greatly influence the future, underscoring the need for skilled manpower in these areas.

Prof. Verkooijen also touched on climate change, advocating for the creation of a Green Jobs Center to educate about climate change and promote sustainable practices.

In just under three months, Prof. Verkooijen has made significant strides in advancing the university’s adaptation to new technologies. His dedication is evident, highlighting the necessity for educational institutions to embrace technological advancements to avoid falling behind.

As we reflect on these developments, it raises a pertinent question: Is it wise to appoint foreign chancellors like Prof. Patrick Verkooijen to lead our local universities and colleges? What are your thoughts on having international leaders in key positions within Kenya’s educational institutions?

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Linus Kamau
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