Mount Kenya University (MKU) recently conducted its second virtual graduation ceremony and the 19th since its inception. The university has in the recent past successfully shifted most of its teaching and learning to online platforms in light of the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. The chief guest was Prof. Waswa Balunywa, Principal Makerere University Business School (MUBS). In line with the day’s theme: ‘Equity, Diversity andInclusion in Higher Education’,Prof. Waswa said thatuniversities must embrace community engagement, come up with society-based projects and curriculum as well as strategies of tackling challenges facing the local communities such as environment degradation, conflicts, unemployment, dehumanizing poverty levels, youth radicalization and diseases. “When higher education institutions successfully integrate their programmes with the needs of the local, regional and global communities, it is only then that they become vehicles for the achievement of equity, diversity and inclusivity,” he emphasized.
The Makere University Business School Principal also congratulated MKU students, staff and management for being recognized by the United Nations Academic Impact office as the SDG 10 HUB on reduced inequalities. “This is a perfect testimony of MKU’s continued effort in enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion in the society.” On his part, MKU Chancellor, Prof. John Struthers, who joined the ceremony virtually from the UK highlighted the rising prominence of partnerships at the varsity. In that vein, he cited the renewal of the memorandum of understanding between the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and MKU which has seen over thirty five students secure full scholarships at the university in 2021 as one of the milestones. Moreover, MKU has signed a prestigious partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). “I am informed that more than twenty members of faculty are engaged in different research activities within this partnership whose actualization also includes scholars from other institutions of higher learning across the African continent.” By the same token, Prof Struthers observed that he was happy to have interacted with a number of MKU faculty through a book he has co-edited entitled: ‘Enterprise and Economic Development in Africa.’
In her speech, Dr. Jane Nyutu, Co-founder, MKU, observed that the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the society in many different ways including an upsurge of crime related to mental disorder in institutions of higher learning. “To mitigate this, MKU launched the ‘Mind and Beyond Counselling Centre’ early this year to tackle mental health issues among students and youth in society. In addition she also gave a highlight of the infrastructural developments in the institution. “One such investment is the MKU Convention Centre that will be commissioned soon. It has a sitting capacity of about 2,000 people and will support the region in hosting drama festivals, local and international conferences, public lectures as well as community gatherings,” Dr. Nyutu said.
On his part, Professor Deogratius JAGANYI, Vice Chancellor, MKU observed that the university has continued to excel in enrolling students for various academic programmes. According to him, this has been as a result of a collective responsibility of the university community and positive public perceptions. “This has made MKU to be the preferred destination for both government and self-sponsored students. The University is keen on expanding access to higher education to local and international students,” said Professor JAGANYI.
While speaking at the same function, Prof. David K Serem MKU’s Council Chairman noted that his team will continue executing its mandate of ensuring that the university achieves its vision and mission through development and implementation of policies, regulations and guidelines. Among the notable achievements include: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation, establishment of the MKU Graduate Business School as well as the MKU Innovation and Incubation Centre, revitalization of the botanic garden, establishment of the Centre for Professional Development and the restructuring of the directorate of communications and student recruitment. A total of 6,556 students graduated during the colourful ceremony. Ten of them attained Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, one hundred and sixty-five masters degrees, one hundred and thirty postgraduate diplomas, four thousand, six hundred and seventy-eight bachelor’s degrees, one thousand, one hundred and ninety two diplomas, while three hundred and eighty one got certificates.