Universities and college in Kenya needed some sort of social network, or just an online library for students, teachers and students to find all information about them.
Some of their faculties come up with course units so great every student wants to add it to their semester course but others draft this units parents would not want to pay millions for.
But now problem the is solved, ChuoKikuu is that solution.
This is what Vincent Bruce, the founder ChuoKikuu told us on his startup’s beta launch.
What is ChuoKikuu
Chuokikuu is a Swahili word which means an institution of higher learning.
In this portal, you will find all information about Universities and colleges in Kenya, course listings from each institution, course comparisons among different institutions, fee structures, scholarship opportunities, career guidance, research grants, university publications, listing of educational bodies and all things related to higher education.
When was it launched and where?
This is an idea which I conceptualized when still in university but got a chance to start it off late last year (2012). I developed it during my free time and only managed to launch its initial (basic) version in the beginning of this year (2013). So, most features are still under development.
Who are its founders?
I am the founder and Lead Developer, though I intend to bring on board my university friends who also had similar ideas so that we combine them and make a better portal.
What problem do you solve?
Currently, there is high demand for higher education and with it comes problems. Colleges are now sprouting and mushrooming all over the country. The consumers have found themselves in problems when they study there only to be told later that their certificates are not recognized because the college is not registered.
So, the problem is that, there is no where the public can get information about an institution and that is what we are trying to solve.
We will work hand in hand with the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology (MOHEST) and Commission of Higher Education (now Commission for University Education) to list colleges and their registration status and universities in and outside Kenya which are accredited by the commission to offer higher education to Kenyans.( read KIU ). We also list the courses for which a particular institution is accredited to offer (read Inoorero).
Also in the past, students admitted to public universities, have had problem in selecting courses based on the difficulty of using weighted cluster point system by Joint Admission Board (now Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service). We will make tools that will help students choose courses for which they have qualified and are comfortable with.
Take us through your features
- Features include but not limited to;
- Accredited University listings
- Registered colleges listings
- Course/programme search and comparisons
- Automated cluster point calculations
- Scholarship opportunities
- Career guidance
- Attachment and internship opportunities
How many users so far?
Since it was recently launched, we don’t have many users yet but we expect a much following by mid year.
What is your business model?
We don’t have a particular business model for now because we consider it a community project but we think of doing advertisement later on.
Any competition in town?
So far I haven’t come across any system/portal doing similar thing and thus we consider it unique and the first of its own kind.
Any funding yet? How much?
So far, no funding although we are looking at organization that fund community/open source projects because we don’t expect to make much profit out of it. It is there to help the community.
We intend to partner with Ministry of Higher Education science and Technology (MOHEST), Commission for University Education (CUE), Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and other bodies that are affiliated to or interested with Higher education in Kenya.
The biggest challenge is finding enough time to work on the project since I develop it only on my free time (evening and weekends) which is not enough to develop all the required features in time.
Finding and inputting data into the system is also hectic.
What are your 2013 plans?
I expect that by the end of the year, I could have managed to develop all features and that it helps people.
Do you want to be Africa wide?
Of course, when it successful in Kenya, I will be able to expand it to some other African countries.