The University of Nairobi has launched a new Board of Postgraduate Studies tasked with the transformation of the University into a centre of academic excellence that is able to compete globally. Presiding over the launch, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi also received a progress report of the Task Force on the Transformation of the Board of Postgraduate Studies into a Graduate School.
Speaking during the launch, Prof. Mbithi noted that the University was looking at a Board that shall from its vision, mission and strategic objectives; transform the University into world-class institution. He reminded the Board members of their important mandate of training graduate students as they prepare them as future faculty of the University of Nairobi and other institutions of higher learning.
The Vice-Chancellor assured the task force of total management support in their endeavour to complete the task within the shortest time possible. Noting that graduate students face unique challenges, the Vice- Chancellor pledged University’s commitment in addressing issues relating to supervision, accommodation and efficient graduate studies processes.
He challenged the Board to benchmark with the best in the world, “we expect the very best from you having been trained here. You should be the solution providers. Most of you are grant writers, now you need to write and fundraise for the graduate school”, said the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Mbithi noted that as the mother university, Nairobi was tasked with training graduate students and mentor upcoming universities. As a university with a teaching hospital and a student population of 80,000, the Board was challenged to aggressively market our graduate programmes regionally and internationally. ‘’ The need to increase the graduate student ratio to the undergraduates was urgent, considering that graduate students currently stood at 13,000,’’ he advised.
On her part, Prof. Lucy Irungu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension) noted that the Commission for University Education had released Standards and Guidelines which the Board was expected to ensure compliance. That the government also expects that all universities to produce 1,000 PhDs in the next five years, with University of Nairobi expected to contribute the highest number.
The Board director, Prof Lydia Njenga reiterated the Board’s mandate of formulating and reviewing graduate studies, admitting graduate students, coordinating graduate syllabi, sourcing graduate scholarships and grants and ensuring the welfare and discipline of graduate students. Prof. Njenga assured the Vice Chancellor of the Board members’ resolve to take graduate studies and programmes a notch higher with the forthcoming Graduate School.
Also present at the launch of the new Board of Postgraduate Studies were Prof. Henry Mutoro, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Isaac Mbeche, and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs, Board members and Taskforce members.