Knowledge is Power: 15 Graduate with PhD’s from FST at UON 70th Graduation

The 70th graduation ceremony of the University of Nairobi, held on December 15, 2023, was a celebration of academic achievement, resounding with the triumphs of over 5,000 graduating students. Among this accomplished cohort, the Faculty of Science and Technology proudly stood tall, its 159 graduates - including 15 PhDs from its eight diverse departments - a testament to the faculty's unwavering commitment to excellence.

The ceremony was graced by the distinguished presence of the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Hon. Ezekiel Machogu, whose keynote address served as a clarion call for Kenyan universities to embrace a transformative agenda. In a world brimming with challenges and opportunities, Hon. Machogu emphasized the critical need for universities to bridge the gap between academia and industry. He envisioned a future where curricula are aligned with the ever-evolving demands of the job market, actively shaped through collaboration with industry players and the effective implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum.

Financial sustainability was another cornerstone of Hon. Machogu's vision. He urged universities to explore innovative funding models, tackle debt burdens head-on, and leverage the unwavering support of alumni networks to bolster their financial standing. This quest for financial stability, he asserted, is not merely a means to an end, but rather the bedrock upon which academic excellence can be built.

Hon. Machogu's aspirations extended far beyond national borders. He challenged Kenyan universities to set their sights on the global stage, advocating for expanded capacity, the welcoming of international students, and the forging of strategic partnerships as key drivers in propelling Kenya's institutions onto the world stage. His address was a potent cocktail of pragmatism and ambition, a roadmap for Kenyan higher education to equip its graduates for the ever-shifting sands of the job market, tackle financial constraints with ingenuity, and strive for international recognition.

Echoing this call for adaptation and innovation, Vice-Chancellor Professor Kiama acknowledged the financial challenges impacting the university's ability to maintain its leading position. He raised concerns about the potential neglect of postgraduate programs under the new funding model, urging staff to redouble their efforts in income generation and explore alternative, profit-driven approaches to student housing and catering. Professor Kiama further emphasized the importance of bolstering research, forging partnerships with industry for innovation, and embracing digitalization as a path towards efficiency and enhanced service delivery.

Yet, amidst these discussions of fiscal realities and strategic planning, Professor Kiama's message ultimately returned to the human element at the heart of the ceremony. He challenged the graduating class to utilize their education as a catalyst for positive change in the world, reminding them that knowledge is not merely power, but a responsibility.

The 70th graduation ceremony of the University of Nairobi was not just a celebration of academic achievement, but a powerful testament to the enduring spirit of the Faculty of Science and Technology. As its graduates embark on their journeys, armed with knowledge and a thirst for innovation, they carry with them the torch of excellence, lighting the path for future generations to come. The faculty, in turn, stands poised to embrace the transformative agenda laid out by Hon. Machogu and Professor Kiama, ensuring that the University of Nairobi continues to be a beacon of academic excellence, not only in Kenya, but on the global stage.