Yale University president set to make inaugural Kenya visit


Yale University president Peter Salovey (centre). file PHOTO | NMG

Yale University president Peter Salovey is next month expected to arrive in Kenya on an official trip, marking the first ever visit by a senior official of the Ivy League institution since its establishment.

Kenya leads Africa in annual student admissions to Yale University, where Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge graduated with a PhD in Economics.

“I’ll be travelling to Kenya with Yale’s President, Peter Salovey, March 14-16. It will be the first ever official trip by a Yale President to Kenya since the university’s founding  in 1701,” Yale director for Africa Eddie Mandhry told the Business Daily.

A career scholar, Prof Salovey is the 23rd president of Yale University and took charge of the institution in July 2013. He earned his qualifications in psychology and sociology from Stanford University and later Yale.

Organisers of the visit said they were still working on the fine details of Prof Salovey’s itinerary, including institutions he will visit while in Nairobi, who he will meet and the expected deals.

Yale has a partnership with Strathmore Business School through their common membership to the Global Network for Advanced Management – a respected group of 32 leading business schools across the world.

The network aims to fuel innovation through collaborations.

Yale records indicate that 24 Kenyan students were admitted to study at the prestigious institution last year, ahead of Nigeria’s 23, Zimbabwe (18), Ghana (17) and South Africa (16).

Kenya’s 2017 admissions to Yale comprised 17 undergraduates and seven graduates. Globally, Kenya came in at position 16 in admissions to Yale.

READ: Kenya tops African peers in students intake at Yale

Neighbouring Tanzania managed seven slots at the university, the same number as Ethiopia while Rwanda had five student admissions and only one for Uganda.

Degrees from such Ivy League universities are seen as a golden ticket to securing top jobs in the global market.

Kenyan Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is yet another prominent alumnus of the university, having earned her Master’s degree in acting from the institution. The university offers courses in business, nursing, law, medicine, arts, music, management, environment and architecture.

In Africa, only four universities are members of the revered Global Network for Advanced Management. The list includes Nairobi’s Strathmore University, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business In South Africa, University of Ghana Business School and Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria.

Kenyans are increasingly placing priority on education with most sending their children to top colleges as a passport to a better future. Wealthy homes have no qualms splashing tons of cash on their children’s education.

The International Schools Database survey last year put the cost of educating a child below 10 years in Nairobi’s top private schools at $10,500 (Sh1 million) a year on average. This is above the average annual fees in more advanced metropolis like Amsterdam ($5,940).

Most of these Nairobi elite schools, including International School of Kenya (ISK) and Rossyln Academy, offer international curricula. In 2017, China led the pack with 680 admissions to Yale, followed by Canada (223), India (189), South Korea (148) and 121 for the UK.