Established in 2007 as a constituent college of Egerton University and chartered in 2013 as the 13th public university in Kenya, Kisii University has continued to train and release thoroughly-skilled graduates into the job market to pursue the careers of their choice.
On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, the university held its 11th Graduation Ceremony at the Chancellor’s Pavillion within the Main Campus grounds in Kisii County.
This event’s theme leaned towards health, with a specific bias on Sustaining Quality Education and Research in the Context of Healthcare Responsiveness.
The grand occasion was presided over by the Chief Guest, Dr. Beatrice Muganda, Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Higher Education and Research, who also represented Ezekiel Machogu, the Education Cabinet Secretary (CS).
The Deputy Governor Kisii County, Dr. Robert Monda, who represented Kisii County Governor Simba Arati, Doris Ndonye, Women Representative Kisii University, John Nguto from the University of Manchester, Prof. Monari Bosire, Council Chair Meru University, Vice Chancellors from various Universities, among other scholars and leaders from across the country were also present.
The Chairman of the university’s Student Council, Emmanuel Ole Sananga, congratulated the graduands for their efforts, perseverance and hard work, which has seen them finish their studies successfully.
“The only meaningful and most satisfactory accolade you can accord yourself is celebration. Celebrate your hard-work, as you prepare to face the real world,” he encouraged.
Sananga also called upon Dr. Muganda and the Education Ministry to champion equal funding of universities to allow the students and institutions of higher learning to enjoy their equal rights.
In his address to the congregation, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Akama, appreciated the office of the Chancellor and the Education Ministry’s support they have continuously offered the institution, acknowledging that to the professors and lecturers, graduands and their families, this is a day of celebration.
“For the nation, it is a day of great expectation in the expansion of high-level human resource capacity needed for sustainable development. Above all, this is a day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we could improve upon,” he said.
He further noted that the university has continued fostering linkages and exchange programs with various like-minded institutions of higher learning and research, exposing the teaching staff and students to diverse experiences and academic expertise required in their fields.
Some of the universities the institution has partnered with for research and academic fields include: Manchester University in the United Kingdom, Uni of Kentucky, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Florida, Durban University of Science and Technology, and The National Science University USA, among others.
According to the VC, “Universities must ensure accountability to the wider community in contributing to their development by applied the knowledge skills and competencies acquired in these higher learning institutions for social and economic development and the enhancement of overall societal well-being.”
Kisii University, to address challenges in Science and Technology field, has been keen on considering various aspects of student admissions, the relevance of the academic programs, and the quality of the training offered concerning the ever-changing job market in efforts to enhance sustainable development.
Boasting of a population of above 23,000 students, Kisii University is on the list of the largest public universities in Kenya.
A whopping 3,013 graduates from the university’s eight schools, from Certificate Level to Ph.D., were released to the labor market to practice the skills they have accumulated during their training.
“Notwithstanding existing challenges, Kisii University graduates have continued to excel in various fields,” the VC reminded the congregation, adding that they have been providing exemplary services in private and public sectors, especially in Law and otherwise.
Additionally, the University’s degree program in Medicine and Surgery was recently ranked third regionally by the East Africa Joint Medical and Dentists Board.
According to the University Head, Information Science and Technology graduates from the institutions have been shining in the workplace and proving competitive, even outside the continent.
Prof. Akama was keen enough to note that there has been a dire need for practical training of students on Applied Sciences and Technology with versatility, which would provide required services and establish Small and Medium-sized industries allowing for self-employment using locally-present resources.
That would improve the living standards of people in society, especially in rural areas.
He simultaneously revealed that Kisii University was recently accredited to offer Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) accredited Diploma and Certificate programs, which he termed essential in pushing the government towards achieving Vision 2030 and the government’s objectives as envisioned in its manifesto.
Trying moments, way out
“Quality and relevance is one of the key objectives as indicated in the Kisii University Strategic Plan,” he observed.
Against the backdrop of the current food insecurity and challenges across the nation, the relevance and practicality of university education are put to the test.
He, therefore, opined that institutions of higher learning must be on the frontline of providing solutions to such problematic experiences engulfing Kenya, Africa and the planet.
“Kisii University is addressing these challenges by providing up-to-date teaching, research, innovation and community outreach initiatives,” he said.
For instance, it is in the process of establishing a Center of Excellence in Health Education and Training to combat the health challenges facing Kenya, with the input of Kenya-UK Health Alliance collaboration, a multi-million dollar initiative.
In the recent past, the university has contributed health assistance to the surrounding communities in various capacities in collaboration with other health agencies.
As Technological Revolution continues to take over the continent and immerse it into more innovative pathways, the education sector has not been censored.
“To a larger extent, professionals who want to remain competitive in their work environment will need to constantly reskill themselves. They cannot assume that the education they acquired in the first half of their professional career will be all they need for the rest of their working lives,” revealed Prof. Akama.
To position the learners to this wave, the VC noted that Kisii University has established a self-development mindset in the students, faculties, and other staff, with the lecture rooms offering opportunities for teaching self-learning skills for continuous learning and engagement in upskilling opportunities.
“Well-educated and adequately trained human resources can accelerate the pace of sustainable social and economic development.
However, lack of sufficient funds is the main problem in developing a quality workforce,” said the scholar.
He admitted that funding Kenya’s higher education has not been increasing in step with the institutions’ growth and needs, making them not fully armed to offer the required skills to learners.
To the graduates
Congratulating them, he encouraged the graduands to use their knowledge to create jobs for themselves and others, remaining determined and showing up in excellence.
“As you exit from the university and join the broader society, you should be prepared to face these complex challenges of life as you endeavor to find your own bearing,” he advised.
Instead of having a sense of entitlement, he implored them to apply themselves in serving society with all their ability and making the world a better place.
The Chair of the Kisii University Council, Ms. Caroline Chizipo, assured the congregation that the Univesity continues to soar higher towards achieving Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals and its own Strategic Plan.
She noted that the institution has been the government’s darling on government sponsorship to students, making it the sixth most-sought university nationally by government-sponsored students.
Through internships and industrial attachments, Ms. Chizipo added that Kisii Unversity has offered more training and relevant skills to learners from across the country, having placed 83 such students for training in the 2021/2022 financial year.
She congratulated the graduands, urging them to remain ethical, hardworking, and good ambassadors of Kisii University, which has been equipping them.
“I assure you that the world is full of opportunities; step out with confidence, grab every opportunity, run with it and be the best you can be in this world,” urged Dr. Beatrice Muganda, PS State Department for Higher Education and Research.
CS Machogu, represented by Dr. Muganda, noted that Kisii University has remained on the right track to achieving its mandate, adding that the knowledge, skills, and experiences the graduates have acquired from the institution prepare them for all possibilities in the labor market.
“I challenge universities to continuously re-invent themselves to provide the intellectual framework as well as the cardinal 21st Century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, which will spur students to produce much-needed innovations,” posed CS Machogu.
On funding, he urged university management boards to explore industrial and institutional collaborations, public-private partnerships, and other resource-mobilization strategies, to extract revenue and supplement government capitation.
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According to the Chancellor, Dr. Bob Ndubi, Kisii University has stretched its muscles to achieve all possible success on its path, building its brand upwards, even in terms of increasing student enrolment and graduate numbers.
To produce well-rounded graduates, Dr. Ndubi also recognized the place of extra-curricular activities, including hunting and appreciating talent among the students.