Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) has passed through three transitional levels to become what it is now.
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The origin of TUM can be traced back to the late 1940s where it existed as Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education (MIOME); in 1966, MIOME became Mombasa Technical Institute (MTI) and started to admit all Kenyans regardless of religion or race. In the year 1972, MTI transformed to become the Mombasa Polytechnic, becoming the 2nd National Polytechnic in Kenya.
In a Government strategy to increase access to University education across the Country, the dream to convert the Polytechnic to a University College was realized on August 23, 2007 through a Legal Notice No. 160, when the Mombasa Polytechnic University College (MPUC) was established.
On January 30, 2013, the University College was elevated to a fully-fledged University. This has resulted in many positive changes implemented with great support by the Government of Kenya, including recruitment and development of staff, expansion of infrastructure, provision of facilities and introduction of new academic programmes.
TUM is the only University in the Coast region of Kenya that offers Engineering-related programmes.
As a Technical University, TUM upholds provision of Technical and Vocational Education and Training) TVET programmes to the Kenyan youths and anyone interested in lifelong learning. The University boasts of having its TVET graduates in a number of industries in the country. This has widened the University’s link with the industry enabling our students to acquire requisite competencies for the job market.
Through a newly found proposition, to develop market driven training, Technical University of Mombasa has partnered with the German International Cooperation (GIZ), industry and other TVET providers to develop internationally bench-marked Competency-Based Education and Training (CBET) curricula in Instrumentation and Control, Heavy Machinery Operations, Mechanical Technology and Maintenance, and Welding. These programmes shall be run in all institutions with resources and facilities.
Technical University of Mombasa, through its Directorate of TVET of Programmes is working on increasing the employability of all our TVET graduates through skills development.
It is now becoming clear that apart from the diploma and certificate qualifications the students shall graduate with, they are required to undertake a skilled training offered through competency-based education and training approach that shall put the Technical University of Mombasa graduates higher than those from other institutions.
The Vice Chancellor Professor Laila Uweso Abubakar, has been in support the reforms in the TVET sector. She has championed the training using the competency-based education and training approach in imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes to trainees and emphasises that this technique can be used at all levels of training in the University.
Currently the second cohort of students undertaking CBET course in Instrumentation and Control – standalone controller inspector is underway and the students are expected to go for industrial training in May 2017 after completing the theoretical and practical training at the University.
The TVET section of the Technical University of Mombasa is undergoing transformation and will soon be an Institute where all the TVET matters will be handled. The Institute will have the responsibilities like those of a TVET institution or National Polytechnic within the University.
The functions of the Institute will be drawn from the Technical University of Mombasa Charter issued on January 30, 2013. The University shall always provide a multi-level system of education and training that is relevant to the needs of the community covering a wide range of fields and levels with provision for recognition of prior learning and flexibility of transition between educational levels as specified with the Kenya National Qualifications Framework.
The University has a responsibility for the development of technical and vocational education and training and related activities within the institution and the wider society. As part of the extended mandate, the University admits students who already have diploma qualifications to second year of degree courses and those with certificate qualifications to second year of diploma courses.
All students with diploma and Certificate qualifications that would like to enroll for the next higher level of education are encouraged to apply. In addition to the University TVET programmes being offered, Technical University of Mombasa also offers Kenya National Examinations Council examined TVET diploma and certificate programmes.
The writer, Dr Lawrence Mukhongo is the director for TVET programmes at Technical University of Mombasa.