TO REMAIN RELEVANT

Be creative and invest heavily on research, varsities urged

Don says varsities in Kenya should find ways of funding their operations

In Summary

•Varsities within Africa have been operating under insufficient budgetary allocations from local governments, making their operations extremely difficult.

•Prof Chacha said varsities in Kenya should find ways of funding their operations to supplement the government’s allocation.

Uzima University Chancellor Bishop retired Emeritus Zacchaeus Okoth with Kenyan Commission for University Education (CUE) chairman Prof Nyaigotti Chacha during the varsity second graduation ceremony.
Uzima University Chancellor Bishop retired Emeritus Zacchaeus Okoth with Kenyan Commission for University Education (CUE) chairman Prof Nyaigotti Chacha during the varsity second graduation ceremony.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

The Kenyan Commission for University Education (CUE) chairman Prof Nyaigotti Chacha has urged universities in Africa to embrace tough times over inadequate funding.

He said varsities within Africa have been operating under insufficient budgetary allocations from local governments, making their operations extremely difficult.

Prof Chacha challenged the varsities to be more creative and invest heavily on research and innovations to remain relevant.

He spoke at Uzima University in Kisumu during the second graduation ceremony where 179 graduands were awarded various degrees, diplomas and certificates.

The chairman was accompanied by the varsity chancellor Bishop emeritus Zacchaeus Okoth together with the council chairperson Nelson Otieno and the vice chancellor Dr Cosmas K’Otieno and the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of finance Dr Joseph Okal.

The don said varsities in Kenya should find ways of funding their operations to supplement the government’s allocation.

“Our universities should invest more in research and technological innovations to remain relevant with the changing trends in the market,” he said.

The current graduates, the don said, should not fully depend on salaried employment but should instead be innovative if they want to remain relevant in the global market.

Prof Chacha urged the graduates to serve Kenyans diligently and not to be driven by money.

“As you graduate today, I want to challenge you to be good examples to the upcoming students. Be professionals in your work,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) chief executive Mercy Wahome.

She said graduates should not wait to be employed but should instead strive to be innovative and job creators.

“You should not just sit and wait for employment but be aggressive and innovative to be self-employed,” Wahome said.

Wahome noted that more than 70 universities and colleges continue to churn out graduates into the job market, which require a collective responsibility and innovation to absorb them.

She asked the graduates to observe integrity and professionalism as they go into the market.

“Let you not be driven by money, it will follow you through hard work and strictly following the required ethics,” Wahome said.

Bishop Okoth sentimentally narrated how he and a few people came up with the idea of starting Uzima University in the 1980s.

He said they together with former Kisumu Town member of Parliament Job Omino identified where the institution is currently located before retired president the late Daniel Moi approved its acquisition.

“We initially organised a walk in order to raise funds for the university. The late retired President Moi helped us to get the land where we are today,” he said.

Bishop Okoth said the medical institution was initiated following the pandemics such as malaria, cholera, typhoid and later HIV/AIDS in the Nyanza region.

The chancellor told the graduates to be varsity’s good ambassadors wherever they will be employed or self-employed.

Otieno said medical studies have no ‘hot air or opaqueness’ since you deal with real-life situations.

Uzima University Chancellor Bishop retired Emeritus Zacchaeus Okoth with Kenyan Commission for University Education (CUE) Chairman Prof Nyaigotti Chacha during the varsity second graduation ceremony.
Uzima University Chancellor Bishop retired Emeritus Zacchaeus Okoth with Kenyan Commission for University Education (CUE) Chairman Prof Nyaigotti Chacha during the varsity second graduation ceremony.
Image: MAURICE ALAL
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