Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility SPEECH BY PRINCIPAL SECRETARY STATE DEPARTMENT FOR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

SPEECH BY PRINCIPAL SECRETARY STATE DEPARTMENT FOR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION AND RESEARCH


DELIVERED ON FRIDAY, 31st JULY 2020 DURING THE 42ND GRADUATION CEREMONY

 

Chancellor, Egerton University

Council Chairman, Egerton University

Council Members, Egerton University

Chairpersons of Councils of other universities

Vice chancellor, Egerton University

Deputy Vice Chancellors of Egerton University

Vice chancellors of other universities

All invited Guests, Members of staff, graduands, parents and guardians

All protocol observed,

Ladies and gentlemen,


I am delighted to join the graduands together with their families and friends and the entire Egerton University fraternity in celebrating this 42nd   graduation ceremony. I take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate all the graduands on your great accomplishment in your various academic programs. I recognize that underlying this success is your hard work, resilience, discipline, and commitment to your studies. This graduation ceremony is a testimony that you have successfully gone through academic process that has culminated in your being conferred with an academic award.

 MR. CHANCELLOR SIR,

I am aware that this is unique graduation to be conducted here in Egerton University and other Universities because of the Covid 19 pandemic. The ministry is aware of the effects and challenges that have been brought by the pandemic. I know academic programs has been affected when Universities closed abruptly as acontainment measure to the pandemic. I want to assure you that you are not alone in this and that we are ready to support whenever we will be called upon. I also appeal to the Universities to stick to the Ministry of Health protocols as you prepare to recall students back to college.

To the graduands  I pray that may this challenges brought about by this pandemic be an opportunity  for you to contribute significantly not just on self-development but to societal, national and global development.

As you mark a new chapter in your life, I take this opportunity to remind you of your national and moral duty to uphold the highest levels of ethics, integrity, and patriotism and to remain men and women of honor guided by humility and discipline despite the ever fast paced world that is rapidly yielding innovations and challenges alike. These attributes of our nation will help us pursue knowledge in this fast paced environment guided by highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

MR. CHANCELLOR SIR,

Majority of our population are the youth under the age bracket of 25 years. A bigger percentage are unemployed and others are dependents. Recently the Ministry of Education directed Universities to launch Career Guidance offices. This will go a long way in preparing the students for their job market after graduation.  If well utilized we can reap dividends for their resilience and innovation. I urge the universities to prepare the youth well for the world of work. This can be made possible through offering quality and relevant university education that make it possible for formal employment of our youth as well as innovation and self-employment of our graduates.

MR. CHANCELLOR SIR,

The quality of university education has been a major concern to the stakeholders in University education sector. The employers and the general public have raised concerns on the quality of the academic programs offered by the universities and their relevance to the job market. I urge the leadership of the university to examine quality assurance structures, systems, procedures to ensure they contribute to the highest standards of education as well as carry regular reviews of our academic programs to ensure that they are relevant to the job market.

MR. CHANCELLOR SIR,

Our society faces a myriad of challenges both political, environmental, economic and social. It’s even now a great concern that we are facing worldwide pandemic that has threatened the existence of mankind. It’s my expectation that the capacity and competence learnt here will go a long way in solving such challenges in future especially those in the medical field, transform workplace and communities and impact on socio economic development of the economy. The Kenya vision 2030 focuses to transform the economy towards middle income status by use of manpower trained in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. I’m glad to note that Egerton University has over the years continued to produce graduates on these fields who are pushing forward the National Development agenda. This should be supported by increased focus on research and innovation that will translate to conference papers, publications in reputable journals.  I urge the university to take advantage of government support in innovation and research by engaging the Ministry of Education, National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI), National Research Fund (NRF) and the Kenya Innovation Agency (KENIA).

MR. CHANCELLOR SIR,

 

World over, Higher Education is experiencing changes. Universities must adapt to changes to remain relevant and gain competitive advantage. This watershed situation being witnessed in Higher Education can act as springboard where captains of these institutions can craft strategies aimed at financial stability. As a grand strategy Universities need to diversify to increase revenue. Universities need to partner with industry, research based institutions and international bodies and by helping these bodies achieve their mandate, Universities can benefit from research funding through partnerships with government and international bodies. The universities may also work with both county and national level in solving problems facing citizens, commercializing research output and developing winning financing strategies that can bring many benefits to these institutions.

 

In conclusion let me thank the Chancellor, University Council, and University Management Board, the Senate, staff, parents, guardians and students for your tireless efforts culminating into this ceremony. I know it has not been easy on your part organizing this and the pressure that come with new normal in the planning for virtual graduation. Finally to the graduands , I pray that your dreams will take you to the right places of service and may God open to you every window of opportunity . I wish all the graduands success in all their endeavors and please stay safe.


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