Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Speech by Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education. Delivered On Friday, 17th December, 2021. During the 44th Graduation Ceremony and Installation of the 6th Vice-Chancellor

Speech by Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education. Delivered On Friday, 17th December, 2021. During the 44th Graduation Ceremony and Installation of the 6th Vice-Chancellor

Chancellor, Egerton University

Council Chairman, Egerton University

Council Members, Egerton University

Chairpersons of Councils of other universities

Vice Chancellor, Egerton University

Vice Chancellors of other universities

Deputy Vice Chancellors of Egerton University

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

All protocol observed,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here for the 44th Graduation Ceremony and installation of the 6th Vice Chancellor of Egerton University. I take this early opportunity to congratulate all the graduands for this significant milestone in your life and wish you well in your future endeavours. Congratulations on your appointment and installation, Professor Isaac Kibwage. You have an uphill task ahead of you, and you have my support as you navigate the management of this institution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The University system in Kenya is undergoing substantial changes.  Currently, there are 79 Universities in Kenya, both public and private.  All the universities compete for student placement by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS), and there is no discrimination between public and private universities in student placement. Students are placed in the university of their choice, the one they select, whether public or private.   We have witnessed in the recent past public universities being unable to fully fill the declared available spaces for first-year students.  Lack of enough students being admitted translates to diminished financial resources to the university. Funding of universities is based on student numbers.    Your relevance as a University in society will be determined by the programmes you offer and how relevant they are to the current economic, industrial, and technological situation in the country and the world.  You need to produce graduates who will not solely depend on white collar jobs after graduation, but graduates who can adapt and innovate. The job market demand for white collar jobs is not expanding, and hence our graduates should be all-round including readiness to take up blue colour jobs.   The Government is now empowering Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions.   As a result, most of our form four leavers will be joining these technical colleges to pursue diploma-level courses. These will enable them to venture into entrepreneurship and set up their own businesses and thus discourage most of them from seeking employment and the elusive white colour jobs.

Remember also that the quality of your faculty is determined by the number of professors you have on your academic staff profile. Similarly, the people who make a University are the professors.  Professors are the ones who attract funds for research and postgraduate students.  Hence, you should engage and take good care of your active professors and use their knowledge and expertise even after they attain the retirement age.  Moreover, the driving force of a University is the academic staff who are productive.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Government Capitation to public universities is an ongoing concern.  Given the large number of public universities that have to be funded by the Government, the capitation remains insufficient.  Therefore, you should utilize Government money prudently and effeciently use the allocated funds.   Universities must also aim at specialization and strategically invest in programmes that will attract external funding rather than wait on the exchequer for capitation.

The Government has set aside funds for research by institutions of higher learning and those that undertake research.  The National Research Fund disburses these funds. I would like to encourage you to tap into these resources to support the Government’s Big 4 Agenda, Vision 2030, and the global Sustainable Development Goals.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I conclude, let me thank the Chancellor, University Council, and University Management Board, the Senate, staff, parents, guardians and students for your tireless efforts culminating in this ceremony. 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 endeavours, and please stay safe.

Congratulations once more, thank you very much, and God bless you.

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