VICE CHANCELLOR’S ADDRESS TO THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY ON THURSDAY 21ST MAY 2021
Members of the University Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I take this special moment to thank all staff and students for their unwavering commitment with online teaching and learning during this difficult period of Covid-19. I recognize that all of us have made sacrifices to ensure that we complete our academic calendar on time. I salute you and encourage you to maintain that indomitable spirit of the University of Nairobi. The valuable lesson that we have learned is that e-learning is here to stay. It is the future of higher education. The University of Nairobi will continue to offer its diverse programs through blended mode of delivery.
Consequently, we are going to continue investing more resources on online platforms and systems including asynchronous leaning in order to expand access for quality education and accord more and more people the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
We take cognizance of the changing needs of our clientele and strongly believe that investing on online platforms is a wise and strategic decision. It will accord us the opportunity to experience diversity by attracting staff and students from all corners of the globe and giving more access for life-long learning.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 2021 KSCE exam graduates who recently received their results and are in the process of making important decisions on their future careers.
I have listened to some of the best performers in last year’s exams, fielding interviews for various media stations and I noted with gratitude that many of them have already made their decisions to join the flagship programs at the University of Nairobi.
The Kenya University and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) will in the next few days facilitate those aiming for government scholarships to make their choices.
For those wishing to join the University of Nairobi as self-sponsored students, I am glad to inform you that our rolling admissions are going on currently in various faculties and schools. I would like to ask you to visit our application portal (application.uonbi.ac.ke) and submit your application.
Students who will get a chance to be admitted into the University of Nairobi will commence online registration for their chosen programs with effect from 23rd August 2021. Upon completion of registration exercise, all freshmen will be expected to report for on campus learning on 30th August 2021 unless the COVID 19 situation escalates and we are advised otherwise by the Ministry of Health.
Ladies and Gentlemen
This year, the University has planned to hold two graduation ceremonies as has been the practice. The first graduation is scheduled to be held on 24th September 2021, the second one in December 2021.
I encourage all students who are due to graduate this year to take advantage of the improved learning environment to graduate on schedule. We have simplified our academic processes and removed bottlenecks that hitherto impeded student progression. The Senate recently approved guidelines on how to assist Post-graduate students to identify reputable journals to publish their work. We have also eliminated the problems encountered by students preparing bound copies of their theses. A Students will only be required to submit a PDF version of their theses or dissertation to the Library.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The reform agenda that we started last year is still on course. On the Curriculum reforms, we have revised the number of our programs offerings from 579 to 324. This will allow the University to align more of its resources to supporting the delivery of the flagship programs, to consolidate its strengths on the delivery and imparting the skills.
On financial reforms, I am happy to note that we have succeeded in eliminating all cash transactions at University of Nairobi, and transitioned our financial transactions to e-banking. This has enhanced efficiency, accountability and prudence in the management and utilization of scarce resources.
You recall that in the year 2017/2018 the government introduced Differentiated Unit Costs (DUC) as a model of funding universities. DUC was developed on the basis of the unique cost of delivering each program. We noted that most programs at the University were started before the determination of the differentiated Unit cost and the method used to develop the fees thus differ. We have now aligned our program costs to the approved DUC for new students admitted from September 2021. Those already admitted will continue to pay fees as was provided at the time of admission. We are committed to continue improving the quality of learning at University of Nairobi
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am emboldened by your resilience and zeal to deliver on our mission through various activities that transform lives in the community. To this end I wish to thank you for executing, with excellence, a number of events and programs that benefit both our internal and external stakeholders and add value to all of us.
Just to highlight a few: -
- The University held an inaugural talent competition that was held on 12th March 2021 to identify, nurture and celebrate talents at the University. We celebrate the winners and all the participants.
- The University Prize Presentation Awards held on 7th May 2021 –where 144 prizes were awarded. I congratulate the overall Winners- Ms. Kimeli Faith Jeruto in the 2017/2018 academic year.
- Mr. Kumary Saitabau Kiunga – in the academic year 2018/2019. Appearing on the University of Nairobi list of honors is a great achievement.
I urge all the winners who have not collected their prizes to liaise with the academic registrar’s office.
On community service, the University was honored to partner with Equity Bank Group and Kenya Forest service to plant 7,000 trees in various campuses on 18th May 2021. As responsible and respected organization, we believe that protection and conservation of the environment is a cardinal duty that we must undertake. We shall continue to show leadership in environmental causes including carrying out research in emerging environmental challenges like Climate Change.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The University has continued to establish more strategic partnerships and linkages to provide the needed synergy in meeting our stated mandate. For instance, recently we signed a strategic global partnership with the University of Helsinki, Finland. It is gratifying to note we are the only university in Africa that is joined in that high level global partnership.
I want to also acknowledge the strong collaborative linkage between the University of Nairobi, Washington State University and ILRI on USAID funded Feed the future program that will lead to the establishment of an innovation lab for diagnostic of livestock diseases at the Veterinary School. I thank Prof Mwangi Thumbi and Prof. George Gitau for their leadership in this program that will also contribute to building capacity of future researchers.
Finally, I also appreciate the recently established Institutional collaboration supported by USAID- in the Fahari Ya Jamii Project under the leadership of Prof. Jared Mecha and Prof. CFO. Otieno, Dean school of Medicine.
I am glad to also inform you that the University of Nairobi was awarded the Certificate of Recognition for being the Top Ranked Institution in Terms of Research output and publications on Elsevier (2015-2019) in Kenya. This is not a mean achievement. The University is better because of the contribution of each one of us. Let as all keep the fire burning.
Thanks and God Bless you richly
PROF. STEPHEN KIAMA GITAHI, PhD