Imperial launches Learning and Design Labs with Strathmore University


Onesmus sat in front of computer monitors with his students. They're engaged in a lively discussion.

The Learning and Design Lab brings together UK and Kenyan researchers to address climate resilience challenges faced by industry.

Funded by the British Council and in collaboration with Strathmore University, Imperial College London is bringing students to Nairobi, Kenya, to for a five-day workshop.

The Learning and Design Lab is part of the wider UK-Kenya University Partnerships initiative.

The Lab will act as a unique platform where students from participating universities will tackle real-world problems, faced by local industry. Through interactive workshops and activities, students and industry leaders will develop skills necessary to co-create collaborative solutions that address such challenges.

Dr Onesmus Mwabonje from the Centre for Environmental Policy (CEP), will be co-leading project. “The British Council Grant supporting the Imperial-Strathmore partnership is vital in terms of helping achieve meaningful capacity-building and knowledge sharing amongst our students,” he said.

Over the summer, eight Imperial students from the CEP, will collaborate with their peers in Strathmore University. Other UK-Kenyan partnerships include: KCA University and Nottingham University, as well as Rongo University and University of Portsmouth.

Monica Blagescu, Head of Education at the British Council, Kenya, said: "As we confront the urgent realities of climate change, it is essential that we empower young people to be at the forefront of sustainable solutions. By fostering collaboration between UK and Kenya universities and industry partners, we’ll not only help tackle environmental challenges but also equip young minds with the knowledge and skills to innovate for positive change."

Students from Imperial and Strathmore University will be working with local climate-focused start-ups, working in e-waste management and renewable energy spaces, such as Chemolex and Greenspoon. The workshop will aim to delve into current challenges faced by such enterprises, and seek human-centred solutions while potentially developing new services or products.

“The Imperial-Strathmore partnership will endeavour to deliver strong, and coordinated action that prepares our students to acquire skills, values, and attitudes to combat climate change,” Dr Mwabonje said.

Strathmore University has previously collaborated with Imperial in the creation of the Kenyan Carbon Emission Reduction Tool (KCERT 2050) as part of its 2050 Calculator programme. The tool allows governments to trial options for reducing carbon emissions at a faster rate, empowering policymaking towards net zero ambitions.

Professor Jem Woods, Director of the CEP, said: “This Learning and Design Lab collaboration between Strathmore University and Imperial is a wonderful and exciting opportunity for young students from both universities to get together in Nairobi and co-create technological and policy solutions to the real-world environmental and sustainability challenges.”

See the press release of this article



Jacklin Kwan

Jacklin Kwan
Faculty of Natural Sciences


Climate-change, Education, International, Development, Africa
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