REMARKS OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR, THE CO-OPERATIVE UNIVERSITY OF KENYA PROF. KAMAU NGAMAU ON THE OCCASION OF THE ORIENTATION OF THE 2018/19 ACADEMIC YEAR FRESH STUDENTS ON 13TH SEPTEMBER, 2018 AT 2.30PM ; MAIN CAMPUS KAREN
The Deputy Vice Chancellors
Members of the University Management Board
Deans of Schools
Professors of the University
Directors of Campuses, Institutes and Directories
Chairpersons of Departments
Members of Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff
Fresh University Students
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This afternoon gives me great pleasure to welcome you all fresh students to The Co-operative University of Kenya and officially usher you into the University life. You all worked very hard to be here today. Allow me to congratulate you for your excellent performance in your Secondary School Examinations of the year 2017. As you are aware only 69,151 candidates who scored C+ and above in the 2017 KCSE were placed in Universities out of over 615,772 (11.2%). 100,906 scored C and C-, while 438,914 scored D to E. We have been looking forward to your coming and preparing to receive you and we are extremely delighted to see you. I know for many of you, this is your first time in the hallowed precincts of a University. We say Karibuni Sana.
We highly commend you for choosing to join the CUK. You were admitted here based on your performance to pursue the various degree and Diploma courses in this University. I wish to assure you that this University will strive to make your dreams a reality. I call upon you all to play your role as a students. Make good time for academics, for exercises and your social lives.
In Kenya, The CUK by is one of the smaller and newer universities but also among the oldest institutions in this country whose history dates back to the period before independence. In the World, we have very few Co-operative Universities. Notably, in Africa we have only 2 Co-operative Universities and CUK stands tall. You are fortunate to have joined one of the most specialized Universities in Africa. This University has a special mandate in the Republic of Kenya to advance learning and knowledge through teaching, research and consultancy on all matters relating to Cooperative Development, Community Development, Rural Transformation, Business Studies, Information and Communication Technology at National and International level. I call upon you all to acquaint yourselves with our University Mission, Vision, Our Core Values and Our Motto.
In line with our mission which is “to provide Education, Training, Research and Consultancy in order to produce leaders in the fields of Cooperative Development, Community Development, Rural Transformation, Business Studies, Applied Sciences, Information and Communication Technology for Development“, The University has launched new degree programmes in this academic year. The new programmes include:
- BSc IT
- BSc Computer Science
- BSc Statistics and Information Technology
- BSc of Community Development
- BSc Agribusiness Management
- BSc Hotel and Restaurant Management
- Catering and Hotel Management
- Travel and Tourism Management
We wish to specially welcome the pioneer students in these new programmes and wish you success in your studies. These programmes have been developed by our faculty with tremendous input from stakeholders and experts. We believe they will greatly contribute to the development of this nation and contribute to the government’s “Big Four” agenda which includes: Universal health care, manufacturing, food security and affordable housing.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Over the week you met various heads of departments and sections and you have been advised accordingly. I urge you to carefully follow the various regulations and guidelines given to you, read and understand university rules and regulations. Compared to your High School, a university operates very differently. You are expected be adults who are able to exercise rationality, make decisions, and mature choices of who you want to be. You are, however, not entirely alone. Anytime you need our guidance, our doors are open for consultations. We have a full-fledged Dean of Students Office to support you. Also ensure that you are very conversant with our fee payment policy as it is strictly implemented. The University offers a wide range of co-curricular activities and clubs where you are encouraged to participate. We also have an acting Chaplain to assist in spiritual matters.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We will all be glad to graduate you as a team of astute academicians after successful completion of your various programs. Unlike in High School where only the final examination count, in a University, everything you do starting today will count towards your final classification. You will therefore require to work hard and consistently in order to excel. To avoid falling by the wayside, be focused, have respect for authorities, take all your examinations and course work seriously.
As you all know The Co-operative University of Kenya has a reputation as a specialized University training for a special market niche not only in the region but Africa. We have, for over half a century now been known for the quality of graduates whom we release to the labor market. We do not expect to depart from this norm whatsoever. As young men and women joining this esteemed University, I call upon you to remain persons who will fly high the flag of the University; be good ambassadors of CUK wherever you go and in whatever activities you engage in, let that reflect the image of The Co-operative University of Kenya.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are living in a liberal world. Young men and women are enjoying freedoms of technological growth and a good number are making great leaps and bounds every day in entrepreneurship. Here at CUK, we remain atop in encouraging our students to break the glass ceilings, to make great achievements that will not only change their future but also brighten the face of Kenya and World at large. We have put in place reasonable policy framework and relevant human resource capital towards this goal. One of the reasons why universities exist is to undertake research and disseminate knowledge to solve human problems. The division of Co-operative Development, Research and Innovation has been recently established to take in innovative ideas from students and faculty; I take this opportunity to challenge you to make use of this division headed by Prof. Isaac Nyamongo and dot your name in the global arena.
In the same breath, allow me to caution you; inasmuch as technological advancement is shaping lives positively, it has also ruined lives of many people. Social media remains a key communication tool of our time. Use this tool with caution and clarity of mind. Do not waste your entire life at the University on social networking sites or post images which you will regret later in life. If I were you, much of the time would be spent in the library. This is the only opportune time in your life you have to do your first undergraduate degree and complete it with pride.
Our Dear Students,
We may argue in a University, but constructively, we may debate in a University but logically, we may differ in a University but we also dialogue. It is all about academic discourse. Maturity defines our level of enlightenment. We expect you to follow suit. Respect your various socio-cultural and economic backgrounds, your religions, your races and beliefs. This makes a University beautiful.
In the recent past, debates have been rife in public spheres on University students’ and moral decadence. Perhaps some of you have given in their opinions about the same. I wish to caution you all that at your prime age, you need not taint your life with sexual immorality and other vices. A new “sponsorship” culture has emerged and has pervaded Universities much to the detriment of, especially our female students who have fallen prey to these marauding beasts with fatal consequences. I wish to warn our female students to be wary of promises of material wealth, money and extravagant lifestyles offered by these “sponsors”. It is not worth your life and reputation. The issue of drug and substance abuse has also become very prevalent in institutions of higher learning and has resulted in many students failing or being discontinued in their studies. I wish to warn you that the University has very stiff penalties for anyone found perpetrating these acts.
There is great hope and aspirations that this nation has placed in you. The government has spent and will spend tremendous resources to support your studies. The government expects that you are the people to lead the transformation of this country into a middle income nation with high standards of living as espoused in the Kenya Vision 2030. Your parents and guardians have also sacrificed great deal of their comfort to bring you to this level of education. I ask you not to let them down. We have further used a lot of university resources to equip our library and other academic resources for your benefit. I urge you to burn the midnight oil and make these resources for your benefit.
Allow me to once again warmly congratulate you for making it to be at CUK. I wish the very best in your academic life here at CUK.
Once again, welcome to CUK; May God bless you all.