University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche, welcomed Freshers from various colleges and challenged them to take their academic endevours seriously, use their newly found freedom responsibly and embrace dialogue when resolving issues. He was speaking at the Great Court on September 12, 2019.
“You will have too much freedom. The freedom to interrogate knowledge in a free environment is the hallmark of a University. Freedom is very expensive if abused but can be quite rewarding if utilized responsibly’, he said.
The Vice Chancellor outlined the pillars of the University of Nairobi which includes excellence and hardwork. He challenged students to work hard and excel in their studies as they are competing among the best in the country and around the globe. “For one to succeed and leave a mark as an outstanding student at UoN requires hardwork and personal discipline. Many of your predecessors have excelled in this university and have become who is who in this country”, he said.
The Vice Chancellor, challenged students to embrace technology, innovation and be open minded in turning their classwork into business startups and become employers upon their graduation. “I want to bring to your attention the fact that you are a joining a University that is keen on research, innovation and enterprise. I encourage you to be creative, convert the ideas in class into business enterprises. Upon your graduation, you need to be job creators and not job seekers. We have Nairobi Innovation Week, a yearly technology ecosystem event, where over 5,000 entrepreneurs gather to showcase their products, services, ideas, innovations, “he said.
In the last five years, the University of Nairobi has been hosting Nairobi Innovation Week where thousands of tech evangelists, business owners, innovators, speakers gather to exchange ideas on technology and innovation.
On safety, students were told to walk in groups and avoid walking at night in the city. “You are coming to a big city. Some of you are here for the first time from your respective villages. Nairobi is a big city with lots of good things, but the security can be a big challenge. I implore on you to walk in groups, especially at night. Never walk alone. You can be mugged, even killed,” cautioned the Vice Chancellor.
On environment, students were told to take care of their environment and keep it green and clean.
Students were told to seek help on various issues including academics, medical, financial help. The University administration is open to help them settle down, walk with you till graduation after four, five or six years depending with their academic programs. Freshers were told to join various professional organizations that would be key to their success and development. Such organization include: AISEC, Economics Students Association, Engineering Students Association, Finance Students Association, Mathematics Students Association, Environmental Club among others. Religious organizations like the Christian Union, Catholic Students Association, Muslim Students Association among others were also cited as good groups that Freshmen should associate with.
“We have collaborations with various universities across the globe. We have student exchange programs, where students get an opportunity to travel abroad to the USA, Europe, China, Japan among others, please plug in. Grab the opportunities. Interact with various cultures, learn,” he said.
Students were also addressed by Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Madara Ogot, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research Innovation and Enterprise, Prof. Stephen Kiama, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Human Resource and Administration. Earlier on, students were addressed by various heads of departments from Central Units.