The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) will soon have a sister in Kenya. The Korean-styled engineering specialty university model, built 40 years ago via U.S. aid for developing nations, will be passed down to an emerging African nation.
KAIST was founded in Feb. 1971 via a US$6 million loan from the U.S.’s Agency for International development (AID).
According to the related institute on May 12, Korea Exim Bank and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCD) are to proceed with business viability research within this year in a bid to establish the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) by injecting some 80 billion won (US$78 million).
The business viability research project bid was entered into by the Science and Technology Policy Institute-Samyung University Consortium and the KAIST-Korea Development Institute consortium.
The Kenya Science and Technology Institute is spearheading the establishment of an Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) specialized graduate school as part of the Kenyan government’s political, economic, and social development strategy, in a bid to upgrade the Kenyan economy into a mid-level income country by 2030.
The African country is planning to add Master’s and Ph.D. courses to the existing ICT-focused undergraduate Multimedia University of Kenya to transform it into Kenya’s KAIST.
The Kenyan government is seeking KAIST and Korea Institute of Science and Technology models and to nurture its own KIAST to be a science and technology field higher education institution.
In the viability research project, the STEPI-Samyung University Consortium is known to have presented specialized and differentiated measures in terms of Kenya KAIST’s development directions and roles and Kenya’s science and technology policy development, based on their know-how in science and technology collaboration with emerging markets.
The KAIST-KDI Consortium has a strategy to build Kenya’s leading science and technology educational institute by combining the former’s experience in transferring nuclear technology education programs to Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research in the UAE, and KDI’s know-how in establishing national economic policies.
The consortium selection will be completed by the end of the month, while viability research will last six months with the injection of some 700 million won (US$684,600).
Three years after signing the main business contract with the Kenyan government, Kenya KAIST will officially kick off in 2017.
The main business project will cover Kenya Science and Technology Institute’s basic plan and curriculum development, R&D and lab educational supplies procurement, development of human resources such as faculty, software and hardware support needed for new buildings or expansions.
The local government is anticipating to use this as an opportunity to disperse our science and technology education models in emerging economies such as Africa.
STEPI Center head Jo Hwang-hee said, “The Kenyan government is seeking national economic growth by replicating our science and technology educational models via the establishment of the Kenya Science and Technology Institute. The university will become an establishment that will produce science, technology, and ICT experts.”