Kenyatta University Partners With Firms To Offer Paid Internships


Kenyatta University, my Alma mater, has signed a deal with 50 companies to offer paid internships for its students.Some of the companies that have signed up to the programme include Safaricom, Nation Media Group, Britam, KCB, Family Bank, PwC, Ecobank, Co-op Bank, ABC Bank, SevenSeas and the Chandaria Group.

The placement programme is expected to offer learners opportunities to gain experience and network with employers.
The university launched the initiative in June, targeting continuing students in their second year of study onwards. It will see learners work for up to five months per academic year each time they are off-session.


Olive Mugenda, KU’s vice-chancellor, said 100 students will be absorbed by the firms in the first edition which started in July 1.

“Unlike typical internships where students are not paid, the proposed programme will require that students be paid like other employees at a rate to be agreed upon by the employers,” said Prof Mugenda during the launch.

“About 50 companies have registered with us already while others have shown interest.”

The vice-chancellor said the number of students admitted in the initiative is set to grow as the varsity creates more linkages.

Gender rule

The KU deal is a boon to both students and companies as it gives employers an avenue to select the most talented and innovative learners to work for them.

Firms will be provided with academic and discipline background of top learners, easing the selection process. The companies will then have the option of recruiting the learners after completing their studies.

Students will apply at the university before being picked based on academic performance and discipline, with the one-third gender rule observed.

The launch now offers students a structured platform to alternate study and work.

“It will give the students a total of one and a half to two years of work experience,” said Prof Mugenda.

The idea is modelled around a Canadian concept dubbed Co-op Education where universities have established solid linkages with industry where learners are put in a study-work programme that contributes to their overall college performance.

Employers have continually raised concerns over a glaring gap between formal education and industry skill needs among graduates.


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