Friday, September 25, 2020

(From left) The Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi confers degrees and awards diplomas at the
63rd Graduation Ceremony. Looking on is the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama and 
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogengo.

A record 2,851 graduands were conferred degrees and awarded diplomas by the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi at the 63rd Graduation Ceremony on September 25, 2020 held at the Great Court.

The graduates who followed the ceremony virtually consisted of 54 Doctor of Philosophy Degree Awards (PhDs), 370 Master Degree Awards, 15 Postgraduate Diploma Awards, 2045 Bachelor Degree Awards and 367 Diploma Awards.

Because of COVID- 19 restrictions, the ceremony was unique in its own way. The graduates followed the ceremony from the comfort on their homes via the UoN website, Facebook and Youtube Channel. The event was also live on KTN Home and Switch TV’s Facebook page. The graduates also had an opportunity to interact on Microsoft Teams platform. This time round, recordings of the deans and directors calling out the names of the graduates were played at the ceremony.

“This graduation is a historical moment for our university and will be recounted in the annals of history as the first virtual graduation ceremony of the University of Nairobi,” said the Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi.

The Chancellor noted that in recent times, COVID-19 pandemic has become the single greatest agent of change.

“It has changed the way we work and how we socialize, how we celebrate life and loss of it, how we worship, how we travel, how we live and of most relevance to us today, how we deliver our teaching and training mission,” she added. “Our virtual graduation is testament to the power of adversity to impact our daily operations and existence. Amidst the anxiety that has gripped the world and the economic vagaries that the COVID-19 pandemic has visited on the economies of nations, you have given us a reason to celebrate. You have fought the good fight worthy of this celebration.”

The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Prof. George Magoha challenged the University to continue working towards attaining the gold standard status.

“The strategy is to ensure the UoN is the gold standard and always purpose to be the top 10 in Africa,” he said. “The secret to success is to involve everyone teaching and non-teaching. For the university to remain a gold standard, look for the older generation professors who have more output with a transformative agenda. I take it as great honor to be invited here. I have given 32 years of my life to this institution. I am very proud to be associated with this university and I always wear my badge.”

In her speech, the Chair of Council, Prof. Julia Ojiambo made an appeal to the university community to support the interventions by the management to transform the institution.

“Our march towards attainment of a world class university status continues. Undoubtedly, this process will from time to time, require that we change the way we do things hence the clarion call for reform,” she said. “I believe it bears re-emphasizing that reform in our business processes is a necessary intervention that will allow us to rise above the culture of mediocrity, break out of the mould of averageness and cast ourselves into the realm of excellence.”

While delivering his first speech at a graduation ceremony as Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, reflected the 5 point reform agenda.

“We have started implementing the reform agenda which is consistent with our vision for a vibrant and sustainable university,” he revealed. “We want a University benefiting society; a University providing highest quality learning and teaching for students; a University leading in research and innovation and a University with high concentration of talent: attracting, growing, supporting and recognizing talent among students and staff. The University needs to be sustainable financially in order to be impactful. Like other public Universities, we are currently experiencing acute budgetary deficits and cash flow challenges due to low capitation.”

Speaking on behalf of the Alumni Association, the Chairman, Mr. Isaac Awuondo invited the graduating class of 2020 to join the association and give back to their alma mater.

“As members of the 63rd Congregation, we will be in touch with you soon on how we can engage with you to become members of UONAA and consider being part of the Chapters and Networks which will enable you actively participate in the activities of your Alma-mater,” he said.

Download the Chancellor's speech

Download the speech by the Cabinet Secretary for Education  

Download the Chair of Council's speech

Download the Vice-Chancellor's speech

Download the Chairman of Alumni Association's speech