Two ministries to manage new varsity for Kenya Defence Forces

President Uhuru Kenyatta granted a charter to the National Defence University of Kenya last month. [PSCU]

The National Defence University of Kenya (NDU-K), which was granted a charter last month by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will be jointly managed by the ministries of Defence and Education.

According to the charter, the Chief of Defence Forces shall be the chairperson of the university council.

Council membership shall include Vice-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, Director-General of the National Intelligence Service and the three service commanders of the Kenya Defence Forces. Also to sit in the council shall be the principal secretaries responsible for university education, defence and National Treasury.

There shall also be one person with experience in diplomacy, not being an employee of the university, appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for Defence.

One senior academician, not being an employee of the university and with experience in matters relating to higher education, appointed by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for university education shall also sit in the council.

Defence Cabinet Secretary (CS) Monica Juma. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Also to be in the council shall be one person from the public or the private sector with proven entrepreneurial or resource mobilisation skills, appointed by the Cabinet Secretary responsible for university education in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary for Defence. The vice-chancellor, who shall be the secretary of the council, shall be appointed by the chancellor on the advice of the council.

The vice-chancellor shall be a holder of at least a Master’s degree in security or related studies from a university recognised in Kenya.

“The Vice-Chancellor shall be the chief executive of the university and shall, if a serving military officer, be not below the rank of Lieutenant General or if a retired military officer should have held the rank of a Lieutenant General or General or if a person is neither a serving nor retired military officer, should have not less than 10 years of experience in strategic leadership in public service,” reads the charter.

The university shall have two deputy vice chancellors.

“A Deputy Vice Chancellor who is a serving officer shall be at the rank of Major General and appointed upon such terms and conditions of service as shall be contained in the appointment instrument and in the Statutes.”

A deputy vice-chancellor who is a non-military officer or a retired military officer shall hold office for a period of three years, renewable once, subject to performance.

The constituent colleges of the university shall be headed by principals or directors, who shall be appointed by the council and shall be the academic and administrative head of the constituent college.

The functions of the university shall include advancing knowledge through training of students to transform themselves, promoting learning in the student body, train and retrain higher level professionals to build capacity for government.

The charter says the university is established to provide quality education in security matters and related areas to qualified participants in order to achieve excellence in training and research for enhanced national performance.

Granting the charter, President Kenyatta said NDU-K will fortify the country’s defence forces and improve their skills in military and civil diplomacy.

The president said besides training military leaders, NDU-K will lay the foundation for KDF to contribute more to internal civil needs such as humanitarian response.

“As you know, our country has suffered a lot from terrorist attacks in the past few years; not to mention the threats posed by transnational organised crimes and intra-state conflicts. Physical attacks are not our only threats; there are virtual threats to our security as well such as cyber-warfare and hostile takeover of state electronic systems.” 

The university shall be funded through government capitation, tuition fees and fees from services rendered, donations and grants, the endowment; gifts and trusts, income from auxiliary activities and other sources as the university council may from time to time identify.

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