SPEECH BY VICE-CHANCELLOR OF THE CO-OPERATIVE UNIVERSITY OF KENYA PROF. KAMAU NGAMAU ON THE OCCASION OF THE CUK’S 4TH GRADUATION CEREMONY AND ON THE 6TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2019, KAREN AT 9.00 AM
Our Chief Guest, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives Hon Peter Munya
The CAS MOE and PS State Department of University Education, Prof. Collete Suda
The Chairperson, The Co-operative University of Kenya Governing Council, Dr. Ibrahim Ali,
The Chairpersons of other University’s present
The Co-operative University of Kenya Council Members,
Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellors of other Universities present
Deputy Vice Chancellors of CUK
Distinguished guests and leaders of the co-operative movement,
Parents and guardians
Our 2019 Graduands
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be here today to celebrate the 4th graduation ceremony of The Co-operative University of Kenya and as the host, I want to take this moment to welcome you to our main Campus here in Karen, Karibuni Sana. I would also wish to congratulate the graduating class of 2019. Hongera to all of you, it is as a result of your hard work and determination, that we are all gathered here today, to celebrate and congratulate you on your efforts. I wish to also recognize our Chief Guest Hon Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives, for accepting to grace our graduation ceremony.
Mr Chancellor Sir,
I wish to reiterate the major strides this great university continues to make in the fields of academia and research. Our student population continues to grow and the 2,835 graduands who will be graduating today is a true statement of the strides we have made over the years. It is important to note that the graduating class of 2016 during our first graduation ceremony stood at 1,148. The growth, ladies and gentlemen, to almost 3,000 graduands in 2019 is commendable and is attributed to the immense dedication our faculty members have and the determination and zeal by the youth to learn and make a difference. We note with appreciation that our first Master’s graduands will be graduating during this 4th graduation ceremony in the Masters of Co-operative Management Programme. We invite members of the co-operative movement represented here through the Ministry, SACCOs, co-operatives and County Government co-operative CECs and officers to take advantage of this opportunity and register for the programme. The university has seen an increase in the number of degree programmes offered from about 4 in 2016 to the 14 we are currently offering in 2019. This only goes to show that the student population will continue with the upward growth and we as a university remain committed to giving world-class education and training. The university recently established the School of Computing and Mathematics in line with the government’s agenda of creating more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses all aimed at ensuring that the University continues to push the agenda of moving our country to a middle-income country by the year 2030. We recognise the importance STEM courses will play and as university commit our resources towards the realization of this great dream. The council also approved the formation of two critical Institutes: The Institute of Open, Distance and eLearning IODeL and The Institute of Technical, Vocational Education and Training I-TVET. These two institutes are aimed at positioning the university as a premier centre for the dissemination of knowledge to the huge co-operative movement via the IODeL and Competency-Based Training in readiness for the incoming cohorts of the newly launched Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) via I-TVET. As a university, we remain ever so aware that the newly launched CBC curriculum by the government of Kenya needs to find us prepared for the coming cohorts in the next few years. We are particularly pleased with the recent inspection by the TVET Authority that will enable this university to be among the first universities in Kenya to offer CBET Diploma programmes developed by the TVET CDACC.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We continue to make great strides in the fields of research and collaboration in the past year. Some of the major research projects we are undertaking include the 40 million Kenya Shillings GIVE Project i.e. “Gender Inclusive Vaccine Distribution and Delivery Systems for Newcastle Disease and Peste des Petits Ruminants Among Smallholder Farmers in Kenya” that is a joint collaboration with University of Nairobi, Kenya Agricultural Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) that is funded by the International Development Research Centre of Canada. The project is working with women poultry farmers in Makueni County aimed at researching on the Newcastle diseases and how best farmers can deal with the Newcastle disease. The Co-operative Leaders Learning Event (CLLE) is a project with the Overseas Development Organization and will see a total of 100 co-operative leaders from across the country trained on leadership skills. The University via the Academic Division also recently introduced Microfinance as an option in the Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Co-operative Business courses. This new option is geared towards ensuring that our students remain relevant in an ever-changing work environment and giving them a competitive advantage over their peers. The development of the programme was supported by the WE effect for which we are truly grateful. The culmination of all this research work and collaborations will be at the Annual CUK Scientific Conference that is scheduled for March 23rd and 24th 2020 and shall be in line with the 2019 graduation ceremony theme “Co-operative in a changing ecosystem“. I take this opportunity to invite you to submit papers and abstracts for the conference. Together we shall continue to build on the Co-operative body of knowledge.
Our Chief Guest
Towards ensuring that bright but financially disadvantaged students continue their studies at the University without interruption, the University set up the University Bursary Fund Committee under the Chairship of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs. So far, in the academic year 2019/2020, the Committee has attracted almost Ksh 2M in scholarships, comprising of a scholarship award from the Certified Financial Analysts Foundation worth Ksh 1.795 M for finance students to pursue CFA certification, and the Eunoia Leaders Scholarship worth Ksh 155,000 which was awarded to two female students through a competitive and transparent process. At this juncture, I wish to recognize the presence of Ms. Shazel Muhammad and her family, through whose benevolence the Eunoia Leaders Scholarship materialised to benefit our students. We continue to benefit from good relations with the co-operative sector and this year, we have received support towards recognising our high achievers. We wish to thank Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), Co-operative Alliance of Kenya (CAK) Githunguri Dairy Co-operative (GDC) Sacco and Shirika Sacco for their generous donations.
In relation to this, the University will hold a High Achievers awards ceremony in the first quarter of 2020 to fete the recipients who shall have been identified.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The University has seen tremendous growth in its infrastructural development which is evident by the ongoing construction projects in the University. We are currently in the phase 1A of the Learning Resource Center (LRC) project, the development of sports facilities and the construction of the university gate. The University has also installed high mast lights to improve lighting and enhance security in the University. The University in collaboration with the Cooperative Bank is also involved in the upgrading of the joint sewer line with Coop Bank’s Leadership and Management Training Centre and installing the Advanced Sequencing Batch Reactor Sewage Treatment (ASBR-STP) to replace the old sewage treatment plant. These projects are all geared towards ensuring we remain a world-class university for our students and that we create an environment that will allow for the dissemination of knowledge and increased research work. We as management are committed to ensuring that our facilities meet and exceed the expectations of our clients and that the available resources are properly utilized.
Our Chief Guest,
We appreciate the cordial relations we continue to enjoy with your ministry and the support you accord us on matters touching on the co-operative movement. The University has a unique mandate to offer co-operative education, research and training for various categories of personnel of the co-operative movement, government officers and the general public to serve as a centre of academic excellence in the region. The Co-operative University of Kenya is therefore critical in building the capacity of the co-operative movement which is key in the realization of all four pillars of the Big Four Agenda – Affordable Housing, Universal Health Coverage, Food and Nutrition Security and Manufacturing. The University is, therefore, working closely with your ministry and the co-operative movement to make this a reality. We are currently working towards standardizing the training requirement for co-operative leaders and to position the University as a centre for certification for the co-operative sector. We shall work closely with your ministry to see the realization of amendments to the co-operative act with the intention of professionalizing the co-operative sector and helping it realize the full potential of improving the GDP of this great nation of Kenya. Currently, co-operatives contribute about 45% of Kenya’s GDP and are the 2nd largest employer in the country. We shall continue to partner with your ministry to reach out to the very changing co-operative sector by creating a linkage between the professional courses we offer, the graduands we train for the movement and the research work we engage in.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As I conclude, let me take this opportunity to once again congratulate the class of 2019 for their tremendous achievement. We look forward to welcoming you again to continue your academic journey with us as you proceed with your diploma, undergraduate or postgraduate programmes. Our admissions office is ready to receive your applications. We also welcome you to register with our Alumni Office to become members of our Alumni Association in order to give back to the institution. Kindly turn to your parents and guardians and let them know that you are truly thankful for the sacrifices and efforts that they have made towards providing the resources that you required to undertake your studies. To the guardians and parents, I now hand over to you diligent young Kenyans, who have been imparted with skills and knowledge during their stay here. My sincere prayer is that they all go out there and make a difference in both their entrepreneurial and working life. We as a university are delighted to have an additional 2,838 ambassadors of the co-operative spirit.
May God bless you all and May God bless the Co-operative University of Kenya