There was pomp and celebration today, when 5,090 graduands consisting of 19 PhDs, 651 Masters, 2,877 Bachelors, 35 Post Graduate Diplomas, and 1,508 Diplomas were conferred with Degrees and awarded Diplomas during a graduation ceremony presided over by Dr. Vijoo Rattansi, the Chancellor of the University.

The ceremony which was the 51st in the history of the University’s existence drew graduands from the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Architecture and Engineering, Biological and Physical Sciences and Education and External Studies.

While congratulating the graduands, Dr. Rattansi charged them in the famous words of Lupita Nyong’o to follow their dreams because they are valid. In her remarks, Dr. Rattansi noted that the University is on course on the road to excellence and she is happy with progress made in infrastructural development and expansion of academic and social space for students. Rattansi called upon the University to be self-sufficient in terms of developing and improving infrastructure and modernizing teaching and research facilities thereby creating a conducive environment for scholars. She challenged the University to commercialize research output and create new industries that will employ graduates.

On his part, the Dr. Idle Farah, Chairman of Council, noted that as the University adapts to the new legislation of the Universities Act 2012, that allows greater access to university and higher education for all citizens, there is need to be innovative in order to get more students and establish more programmes, maintaining and enhancing the high quality of education and training to enable the University produce wholesome graduates with a marketability edge. Dr. Farah challenged the university community to redouble its efforts of teaching, examining and providing a wholesome learning experience and attain self-sufficiency in terms of developing and improving infrastructure and modernizing teaching and research facilities thereby creating a conducive environment for scholars.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George Magoha said that new facilities need to be put to cope with the rising demand for higher education. He revealed that to meet this demand, the University has invested over KES 3 Billion in constructing new facilities and completed the ones that had stalled in the 1990s. This investment is expected to increase by KES 2.5 Billion factoring in the completion of the ongoing construction of the University towers and a further over KES 800 for the ongoing projects at the College of Health Sciences and Kisumu Campus. However, for the University to have capacity to absorb the increasing need for higher education in the country, more facilities are required to support academic and social welfare of students. Prof. Magoha disclosed that University intends to increase the number of bed-space by engaging private developers through the public-private-partnerships and put up hostels on university owned property to comfortably accommodate more student numbers.

The graduation ceremony took place against a background of great expectations from society for universities to provide the much needed guidance in the realization of the Kenya Vision 2030. The pillars of the Vision hinge on the improvement of the socio-economic and political well being of the citizens. The University of Nairobi has the capacity to be part of driving this country into realizing this vision.

Click here to view the speeches.