Friday, 15th December, 2023
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences produced a total of 1372 graduands out of the overall University total of 5744 graduands during the UoN 70th graduation. This number was second in place after the Faculty of Business and Management that produced 1708 graduands.
In addition to this, FASS also graduated 13 PhD candidates from the department of Sociology, Linguistics, Economics, Literature, among others. Some of the first-class honours graduands from the Bachelor's degree were; Atetwe Carolyne Yvonne and Kiprop Collins both with Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies, Jerotich Stacy with Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality Management, Owiti James Wamban with Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Njogu Morris Munene with Bachelor of Arts in Travel and Tourism Management.
The University’s 70th graduation ceremony was filled with thrill and motivation as the theme, “Transforming the Society by Producing Resilient Graduates” carried the celebrations. Among the honoured graduates were the State House Comptroller, Hon. Katoo Ole Metito and the CEO of Privatization Commission, Joseph Kosgey both with a PhD in Business Administration.
Prof. Amukowa Anangwe, the Ag. Chancellor and the Chair of Council, granted the Degrees and awarded the Diplomas. Prof. Anangwe paid tribute to the immediate former Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi whose leadership he described as steadfast and selflessly dedicated. “Under her guidance, we have witnessed significant governance and administrative reforms that have put the University on a sustainable path”, he declared. As he congratulated the class of 2023, Prof. Anangwe urged the university community to work towards making the University of Nairobi a beacon of excellence and a center of innovation. “As we celebrate your graduation, I urge you to continue to embrace a culture of discipline, innovation, and problem-solving. Together, we can overcome challenges, address socio-economic issues, and contribute to the growth and development of our nation”, he announced.
Moreover, the ceremony was also graced by the presence of the CS, Ministry of Education, Hon. Ezekiel Machogu. “Today is a momentous occasion that marks not only the culmination of your hard work and dedication but also the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. Your achievements fill us with great pride, and I hope that you recognize the limitless opportunities that lie ahead with the power of quality education”, remarked Hon. Machogu, as he warmly congratulated the new alumni of UoN.
The CS also discussed steps taken by the Kenya Kwanza government to address the issue of unemployment in the country. He explained that the government is committed to finding employment prospects for skilled workers abroad, hence the establishment of the State Department for Diaspora. “Rest assured, we are working tirelessly to create avenues for your success, both locally and globally”, he said. Hon. Machogu also pledged to officially join the Alumni Association and urged the graduates to join in the Association and give back to the University through scholarships, attachments to students and infrastructure development.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Stephen Kiama, commended the graduands for their hard work and perseverance. “I am pleased to present 5,744 graduands for the 70th graduation of the University of Nairobi. Today we will graduate with 73 PhDs, 37 fellowships, 1,632 Masters, 55 Post Graduate Diplomas, 3666 Bachelors, and 281 Diploma awards from the University of Nairobi. I want to first and foremost congratulate each and every one of the graduands who will be receiving their degrees, diplomas, and awards”, he announced.
The VC also addressed the financial challenges the university faces. “An area of concern for us is the new funding model, which primarily focuses on undergraduate programs. However, when we analyze the workload, it is evident that postgraduate programs require substantial time and resources. Therefore, it is imperative that the government considers funding postgraduate programs to avoid increasing funding gaps for major universities, such as the University of Nairobi”, he explained.
Prof. Kiama acknowledged the efforts the university is making towards income generation and urged staff to double these efforts. He continued to say, “It is crucial to acknowledge that the increased cost of fuel has eroded some of our financial gains from reforms. The signing and implementation of the new Collective Bargain Agreement in 2019/2020 enhanced staff salaries, but we did not receive commensurate capitation from the government, thereby further straining our finances. It is therefore imperative that we think innovatively to improve our financial situation and ensure the University’s survival”.
The Chairman, UoN Alumni Association, represented by Mr. Samuel Lera, commended the university for successfully graduating a significant number of graduands despite the current economic issues in the country. "We do acknowledge and appreciate the fact that sending a total of over 5,000 plus graduands to the market with the current economic challenges is a great achievement for the University, the community and the global job market. As a world class University, the extra effort and vigour you have put in preparing the graduating class in readiness for the job market is commendable. It gives the graduates an upper hand to be absorbed in the job market globally and also be promoted in their own spaces to serve better’, he commented.
The valedictory speech was presented by Kelvin Waweru, a Bachelor of Pharmacy Graduate, in the Faculty of Health Sciences. While referencing the parable of talents from the bible, Kevin urged his fellow graduates to invest, cultivate, and multiply the talents they have acquired throughout their academic journey. “My fellow graduates, as we step into the world beyond this great University, we are each endowed with our unique set of talents, skills, and abilities. The talents we possess are not just academic achievements or skills acquired during lectures; they encompass the virtues of self-discipline, consistency, compassion, creativity, and the ability to adapt. These are the talents that will shape our character and define our impact on the world. Let us not be like the servant who buried his talent in fear. Instead, let us be courageous in the face of challenges, for it is through challenges that our talents are refined and our characters strengthened”, he advised.
Stream the UoN 70th Graduation live on UNC TV: