The five 5-point Reform Agenda aimed at transforming the University into:-
“A vibrant, relevant and Sustainable University”
This is because we want to have a University that:
Benefits the present and future generation: Provides highest quality learning and teaching for students: Leads in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship: Attracts, grows, supports and recognizes talent among students and staff.
To inspire and achieve these aspirations, there is need to
Institute comprehensive reforms at the University of Nairobi.
The planned reforms will advance the University onto the trajectory to excellence and foster an entrepreneurial and innovation culture.
However, as we carry out these reforms, we shall not lose sight that the University of Nairobi is a strategic public entity. Consequently, we shall continue to institute measures to engage the Government as the sponsor of public education in Kenya, to deliberately channel more resources to the University. The resources from the government will ensure that we continue to carry out those mandates that are of the common good to the people of Kenya.
The reforms will be guided by the University of Nairobi Philosophy and the following Principles
• Alignment to the core mandate of the University
• Efficiency and accountability
• Impact on society
• Value for money
The University is guided by the Philosophy for the need to inspire and connect with the Kenyan community, to provide leadership and stewardship, and to give hope and faith to the Kenyan society that it can excel in whatever it chooses to do with passion, moral responsibility and a strong sense of patriotism.
The Expected Outcomes
- The University of Nairobi will be:
- The destination of choice for outstanding local and international students, scholars, innovators, and industry.
- The preferred knowledge partner for government, private sector, development partners, and society in general on ideas, solutions, critique, and policy directions.
- The trusted resource in thought leadership and impact on the society culturally, politically, socially, and economically.
Focus of the Reforms
Agenda Number 1: Data-driven management reforms
In 2016, our Chancellor recommended a visitation of the university. The Visitation Panel observed that one of the constraints impeding institutional planning and efficient management of the University was the absence of a coordinated university-wide data management and access system.
We therefore shall invest our energies and resources towards setting up a comprehensive and integrated data management system. This will entail reengineering our business processes
and enhancing and embedding the use of technology in:
Curriculum content delivery
Student management including the administration of exams and timetabling.
Human resource management
Agenda number 2 - Governance Reforms
University has over the years grown in size and complexity. To stay in step with the needs of the university, there is a compelling need to refresh our management, administrative, oversight, and governance structures.
This will entail:
- Elimination of redundant and overlapping systems, processes, structures, and reporting centres.
- In-building of the flow of authority, resources, responsibility, and accountability to the lowest levels
- Sharing and devolution of power to enhance accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness
- Institutionalization of efficient decision, policy-making, and implementation at every level
- Refocussing our human, financial and institutional resources to the core mandate of the University.
Agenda number 3- Curricula
Embark on the path of fit-for-purpose training.
To do this, we will:
Review the courses offered at the University of Nairobi with a view to assess the overall cost of implementation of each program and the level to which they respond to market, industry, societal, and government needs.
Weed out redundant and overlapping courses and programs
Additionally, we will:
- Interrogate the depth of substance coverage in the delivery of curricula and inculcation of appropriate practical skills and entrepreneurial spirit and culture.
- Recalibrate our metrics of world class-talent and make a deliberate effort towards the internationalization of the University.
Agenda number 4- The financial reforms.
Currently, the University is operating under a huge financial deficit. This impedes its path to world class status.
Consequently, these reforms are geared towards institutionalizing prudent financial management and controls to put the University back to positive financial health and path to sustainability.
Specifically, this reform agenda will address:
- Efficient and participatory budget formulation mechanisms, fiscal and budgetary discipline
- Efficient payment and banking services
- Review Systems to stop revenue leakage, wastage, and optimize utilization of resources
- Re-engineer grants management to effectively support research
- Commercialization of our intangible assets.
An efficient and optimal internal financial ecosystem will allow the university to move with confidence towards scaling external resource mobilization with a high level of confidence that any cent received will render 100% value for money and eliminate the fiscal deficit.
Agenda number 5- People-focused reforms
The University students, staff, partners and our collaborators are the foundation of the success of the University. The university will therefore proactively take deliberate steps to brand itself and to add value to its staff and students. This reform agenda aims to:
- Identify and celebrate the talents and achievements of our staff and students,
- Exploit intangible assets and promote research and technology transfer ecosystem
- Ensure that the University attracts, recruits, supports, and retains outstanding staff and students
- Provide a diverse, inclusive, fair, and open work environment where our people give their best to their work and feel valued
- Internationalize both faculty and students
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want to acknowledge that the reform path is not always smooth. We will have to overcome many obstacles but I am confident that with your support, commitment and endurance,
we shall reach there.
Our first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta during his inauguration as the first chancellor of the University of Nairobi in Dec 1970 stated as follows:
“Here is an institution of the highest importance, integrating into
the life of our republic. There must in the future be no mutual
isolation of the University body and the executive centers of
national design and decision. There must be the fullest use of
resources within the University so as to secure the fruit of
intellect and technology within the framework of nationhood. I
am confident that this university will abundantly justify the
hopes and sacrifices of our people”
I call on all of us to reflect on these words as we embark on the reform path.
Thank you and God bless.
PROF. STEPHEN KIAMA GITAHI, PhD
UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
28th August 2020