We had a sit down with Professor of Entrepreneurship Prof. Peter Kibas who serves as the Dean in charge of the University’s School of Business. the distinguished leader talks about the School, achievements and upcoming initiatives.
1. Briefly take us through Zetech University School of Business?
Prof. Peter Kibas: The Zetech School of Business launch followed a need assessment study undertaken by the University which pointed out the critical need to provide continuity in governance both in public and private sector reforms which inevitably must be spearheaded by a highly skilled and innovative workforce, in line with the objectives of Kenya Constitution (2010) and Vision 2030.
Granted that human capital is the most important competitive factor that could give Kenya or any other country an edge in global competitiveness, the partnership between the public sector, the universities and the private sector in the development of human capital plays a significant role in achieving this objective. With this in mind, the Faculty is structured to provide relevant and updated content to students and train them to think critically and come up with innovative solutions to address needs in the market.
We have over 35 members drawn from diverse areas of specialization to meet the training demands of our students and adequately prepare them for the market. The School has the most Degrees to date at the University which include:
• Bachelor of Business Administration and Management
• Bachelor of Purchasing and Supply Management
• Bachelor of Accounting and Finance
• Bachelor of Science in Health Systems Management
• Bachelor of Economics and Statistics
It also incorporates Diploma and Certificate courses in the area of Business Administration and Management, Purchasing and Supply Management, Entrepreneurship, Banking and Finance, Accounting, HR, Project Management and Marketing.
2. How is the programme aligned to the current job market?
Prof. Peter Kibas: The curriculum development and review captures relevant and market-driven content to effectively equip students for the job market as well as the entrepreneurial world. Our courses are structured to ensure our graduates can function optimally in entry-level positions covering enterprise, administration, management, sales, finance, accounting as well as other aspects such as marketing and HR.
We strive to provide students with a strong foundation for continued career growth through a combination of conceptual knowledge in key disciplinary areas with strong technical knowhow required for workplace performance. The curriculum also places strong emphasis on project work to build the problem solving and innovation capabilities needed by Business professionals.
Additionally, the department trains students to become successful entrepreneurs who can create and implement ideas to not only meet market demands, but generate a good income. We believe that in line with the agenda of the Country’s leadership to enhance industry in areas such as manufacturing and food security, our graduates are interacting with applicable material to play their part in the realization of such agendas. Through empowering our students to take part in research, they can effectively use skills gained to meet the demands of the industry.
3. Any partnerships you have with an external organization on this programme?
Prof. Peter Kibas: At Zetech, we understand the critical role of partnering with leading industry players to furnish our students with practical knowledge on the expectations of the market.
Every semester, in partnership with our Department for Student Affairs, we engage organisations such as Barclays Bank, Capital Markets Authority among others to provide personnel to enlighten students on thedemands of the market and how best to prepare oneself to excel in it. Moreover, our students participate in academic tours as well as career exhibitions across the country to expose them to the day to day running of the entrepreneur world.
At the moment, we are working with the Kenya National Chamber Of Commerce and Industry on business survey and mapping to assess the value of businesses within Kiambu County https://zetech.ac.ke/news/zetech-partners-with-chamber-of-commerce-to-link-learners-to-the-market/ . Additionally, the firm assist us in securing internship of opportunities for ongoing learners.
We are also working closely with our Corporate Training Arm to rope in additional partnerships to enhance the training offered by the School.
4. Does the Zetech School of Business have any collaboration with other institutions/companies to promote market linkages?
Prof. Peter Kibas: As the School of Business, we work diligently to link our students to the market to ensure they are aware of the expectations of the industry once they complete their studies. They are expected to undertake attachment in relevant organizations across the country to gain the necessary experience.
Yes, at the moment, our students have been absorbed by County Governments such as the Nairobi County as well as firms such as Henkel chemicals. We are also in talks with various organisations to conclude on MOUs with other relevant market players that will give our students a broader perspective of the course. In addition, the University management also recently engaged with local leaders in charge of Business in Kiambu County and other business leader to kick start valued linkages to edify the students’ experience.
5. Can you talk about any investments put in place?
Prof. Peter Kibas: Plans are underway in the area of beefing up the Faculty and resources available in the institution in order to enhance our students’ experience. We are looking to facilitate relevant seminars and training to expose our students to needs of the market. Recently, we held a research conference that saw students and Faculty members network with other academicians and deliberate on the role of innovation in business, IT and entrepreneurship. Moreover, we launched our International Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology (ICEITD) that trains students on coming up with businesses and innovations that will have impact and address current global challenges.
6. Do you have students from other countries studying the same programme through digital learning at the comfort of their country or home?
Prof. Peter Kibas: Yes, we have students from across the world in countries such as Dubai, Tanzania, South Sudan among others taking Business courses under our Zetech Digital School programme. The virtual learning option broadens access to quality higher education to thousands of students across the world and we provide the necessary resources to ensure they study and excel.
7. Any plan to set up a revolving fund to fund business innovations from students that can potentially be commercialized?
Prof. Peter Kibas: The University through the Corporate and Marketing Committee is in the process of setting up an endowment fund. We plan to invest seed capital where interest earned goes towards the School’s advancements. We also intend to invite philanthropists, donors and well-wishers to subscribe to the kitty and we are optimistic about the results.
8. Basing your answer on above, when will it be roll out and how much will be invested in?
Prof. Peter Kibas: We are looking to realize this in August this year, and we will share details about the amount in due time. We look forward to establishing long-term partnerships and strengthen existing relationships with the corporate and foundation sector, as well as other key communities that will result in funding for the immediate and long-term goals of the University.