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Focus on postgraduate training, says CS Magoha

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The Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi confers a degree on a PhD graduand at the 61st Graduation Ceremony.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Prof. George Magoha has challenged the University of Nairobi to focus on postgraduate training.

“As the premier University in Kenya, the University of Nairobi should be known for specific academic programmes. Relook at the programmes on offer and drop those which are easily found in the smaller universities; focus on postgraduate programmes that are competitive,” said Prof. Magoha.

The Cabinet Secretary was speaking at the 61st University of Nairobi ceremony that was held on September 6, 2019.

At the colourful ceremony, the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi conferred degrees and awarded diplomas to 4,107 graduands. The graduands consisted 20 PhDs, 429 Master Degrees, 3,082 Bachelor Degrees, 1 Postgrduate Diploma and 575 Diplomas.

In her speech, Dr. Rattansi congratulated and wished the graduands well in life.

“I wish you well in your next phase of life. Just as the University strives for perfection, I pray that you will leverage the stage that the world offers to you today and in the days to come to continue perfecting your knowledge, skills and competence.”

The Chancellor also had a word for the UoN community.

“We have some way to go in making our graduates the gold quality of university education. Evidence across the globe suggests that, but for very specialized areas, more and more employers are recruiting graduates for jobs outside their specialty.  It is therefore incumbent upon us to create graduates who are more agile; graduates that have a solid understanding of the hows of the workplace and how their skills fit into,” she shared. “We need to raise graduates who will continually improve their skills and acquire new ones that make them indispensable. Finally, we need to raise graduates with infinite capacity to think outside the box.”

Prof. Julia Ojiambo, the Chair of Council also congratulated the graduands. Prof. Ojiambo noted that September 6 marked the Council’s one-year anniversary.

“On behalf of the entire Council, I convey our sincere gratitude to all members of the University fraternity for the unqualified support accorded to us. As Council, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve this University. This is a duty that we do not take lightly and are always conscious of the weight of the University’s hopes and dreams placed upon our shoulders. We have spent the last 12 months understanding, in great detail, the depth and breadth of the University.”

The acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche challenged the graduands to have a positive and lasting impact on the society that they will be serving. He called on them to join the alumni association and seek to make significant contributions to their alma mater. In his speech, the Vice-Chancellor added his voice to the ongoing debate on the quality of graduates from local universities.

“I wish to affirm to our stakeholders and particularly potential employers that our graduates have been properly trained, educated and examined as per University regulations and procedures,” he said. “Our graduates have remained competitive even when they venture for further studies in international universities or secure employment with top organizations both locally and abroad. In this University, examinations and research work undergo rigorous vetting procedures by internal and external examiners, hence ensuring those students who meet the set requirements are allowed to graduate. We shall continue to uphold our procedures and standards to ensure the integrity of our academic processes and outcomes.”

Speaking on behalf of the University of Nairobi Alumni Association, the Chairman of the Journalism Alumni Chapter, Bernard Otieno, called on the graduands to join the Association.

“The Association eagerly looks forward to your return to your alma mater in order to give-back,” said Bernard. “Please remember the decorum, sense of commitment and patriotism that makes the graduate of the University of Nairobi to be the most desirable graduate in the country, region and the globe. There is no doubt that you will be great ambassadors of our alma mater and a blessing to many wherever you go from here.”

Congratulations Class of 2019.

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