Plan to turn UoN into varsity of the future

University of Nairobi Council Julia Ojiambo

The University of Nairobi Council has launched a five-year plan that it hopes will help revitalise its brand name.

Council chair Julia Ojiambo said their endeavour to become the first public university to unveil a strategic plan was aimed at turning UoN into a 'university of the future that will tower above peers and stand with giants'.

The university has gradually lost its allure over the years.

The strategy, Ojiambo added, would entail initiating sweeping changes at the institution to restore its cachet and accelerate its evolution into a world-class institution of higher learning.

“One of the challenges is budgetary constraints on the back of reduced State capitation and dwindling incomes,” Prof Ojiambo said.

During the event yesterday, it also emerged that even though the market competition for UoN graduates had grown over the years, the quality of education received by the students was at risk of being compromised by other challenges such as inadequate facilities, programmes that were at odds with the industry, staff shortages and poor student living conditions.

Improve governance

Council members, however, expressed optimism that the strategic plan would turn around the situation by improving governance and oversight, which would, in turn, facilitate sustained growth and excellence.

“I am convinced that we have the right recipe to build our home-grown Harvards, Oxfords, Yales, Princetons and the likes. We are firmly on that path,” said UoN Chancellor Vijoo Rattansi.

According to the council, the focus will be to improve academic standards, strengthen core competencies, improve infrastructure, increase enrollment in specific programmes, and ensure higher and timelier graduation rates of enrolled students.

“We intend to improve the quality of our curriculum in order to enhance equitable access to quality education and teaching. We also intend to improve the overall quality of our facilities and infrastructure," said Dr Rattansi.

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia said the government expects universities will contribute to research and innovation that can anchor the Big Four agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable healthcare.