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UoN formally installs new Vice-Chancellor

15 January 2015, 10:57 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The University of Nairobi (UoN) formally installed its new and seventh Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Mbithi, replacing Prof. George Magoha who retired after the end of his tenure.

After receiving the university’s instruments of power, Mbithi said he will work hard to ensure that UoN becomes a top-ranked institution not only in Africa, but also across the world.

Mbithi said reviewing academic processes, developing and up-scaling the integration of ICT into learning and teaching, inbuilt experimental learning programmes, enhancing research capacity and expansion of infrastructure are areas of his priority.

“My first priority is to ensure that the University of Nairobi produces quality and holistic graduates in diverse fields of study to meet the expectations of the market and to provide solutions to the challenges affecting our society,” said Mbithi.

“My administration will focus on enhancing the capacity of researchers, improve the management of research funds, enhance dissemination of research outputs to society, incubate research efforts and partner with industry to commercialize research outputs,” he added.

The new VC said his administration will also focus more on student mentorship, orientation beyond classroom extracurricular activities and social life.

To overcome the challenge of students’ accommodation, Mbithi said more hostels will be constructed through the public-private partnership funding to accommodate over 5 000 students in addition to refurbishing the existing hostels.

“Also lined up for construction through the same model is the School of Law tower at Parklands, which will house the increasing academic activities of the School, and give it the profile befitting its status as the leading Law School in the region,” said Mbithi.

“Construction of a building for the Computing Centre of Excellence and incubation lab (C4DLab); construction of the University of Nairobi teaching and referral hospital to specialize on chronic diseases and of course completion of ongoing projects, among them the University tower,” he added.

However, Mbithi said all his areas of priority in the development of the university require funds which will be raised through setting up of endowment funds, creation of a university foundation, partnering with the private sector to finance capital projects and increasing involvement of alumni in fundraising for the projects to be completed.  

Also read: Prof. Magoha hands over office to the new Vice-Chancellor

He further promised to work very closely with the Government and lobby her to support the university’s reform agenda, and for the increase of capitation to cater for the payroll to free some internally generated funds for revamping the facilities.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Jacob Kaimenyi lauded Mbithi’s appointment and challenged him to foster equality in hiring the institution’s staff, ensure the university remains at the top in academic and co-curriculum  performance, and help in combating student riots that disrupts traffic flow in Nairobi’s CBD.

Kaimenyi also challenged universities promote innovation and creativity for students to produce competitive manpower in the world market.

The Chancellor, Vijoo Rattansi commended Mbithi for being competitively appointed as the new VC and assured to work together for the success of the university.

Mbithi took over from his predecessor, Professor George Magoha whose 10-year tenure elapsed at the end of 2014. Magoha who was also present at the inauguration ceremony urged Mbithi to ensure the university remains the best performing institution of higher learning in the region and Africa. 

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