It was a day come true for some 52 bright and needy students from the University of Nairobi as they received scholarships from the University of Nairobi Alumni Association, (UONAA) on March 3, 2020 at the Vice Chancellors Parlour.
Speaking during the event, Alumni Association Chairman, Mr. Isaac Awuondo observed that about 4000 students have benefited from the yearly scholarships, since the Alumni Association was established in 2005. He said that the aim to support scholarship beneficiaries get internships, jobs, work study programs and mentorship from the Alumni. The scholarship opportunities are only open to first years, but overwhelming applications were received from continuing students, signaling the need to broaden the list of beneficiaries.
Mr. Awuondo , who doubles up as the Chairman, NCBA, decried the low number of ladies who applied for the scholarships. “There were only 23% of female applicants compared to 77% of male applicants. We need more sensitization to ensure that more female students benefit. We need a 50-50 representation of the beneficiaries,” he said.
“Today, 50 students get two million shillings, forty thousand shillings each, from six colleges and 16 schools. I want to thank the office of Dean of Students, who provided two scholarship opportunities bringing the number to 52,” he said. He observed that going forward, the Alumni Association would be organizing get together events where well established and prominent alumni, will get opportunity to network and support up to 1000 bright and needy students from their Alma matter.
The University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, challenged the Alumni Association to play a leading role in branding the university, support public lectures, link up with career services and provide internships and mentorship to students. They were challenged to support student attachments, internships, work-study programs among others. The Alumni were also tasked to come up with data driven management system, that will enable the University to track and do trace studies of all the 250,000 plus alumni. “We need to know, how many of our alumni are CEOs, how many are in parastatals, government, industry, Parliament among others,” he said.
The University of Nairobi congratulates all the awardees.