Fresh university reforms seek to weed out course overlaps
The University of Nairobi (UoN) has embarked on a process to eliminate redundant and overlapping courses at the institution.
This is part of the five-point reform agenda Vice-Chancellor Stephen Kiama highlighted in what he referred to as the path for fit-for-purpose training.
“We will interrogate the depth of substance coverage in delivery of curriculum, inculcate appropriate practical skills and entrepreneurial culture,” said Kiama, in a virtual address to the university’s community.
Kiama said curriculum reforms will entail reviewing courses offered at the university with a view to assessing the overall cost of implementation of each programme and the level to which they respond to market, society and government needs.
“We will weed out redundant and overlapping courses and programmes.
The reform path is not always smooth, we will have to overcome many obstacles, but I am confident that with support, commitment and endurance we will reach there,” he noted.
He also said the university is in need of financial reforms, noting that the institution is currently operating under a huge financial deficit.
Specifically, Kiama said the reform agenda will address efficient and participatory budget formulation mechanism, fiscal and budgetary discipline, efficient payment and banking services.
He said the institution will review the system to stop revenue leakage, wastage and re-engineer grant management to effectively support research.
“Financial reforms will be to institutionalise prudent financial management and controls, to put the university back to positive financial path to sustainability.
Any cent received will lead to 100 per cent value for money and eliminate the financial deficit,” the VC stated.
Kiama said that his short experience in office, has given him insight on areas that need urgent reforms, to unlock more potential for growth and sustainability.
He said there is need to institute comprehensive reforms at the university to put it on a trajectory to foster an entrepreneurial and innovative culture.
“We are at a critical stage where change in the way we conduct our business is inevitable.
I am outlining my five-point-reform agenda, aimed at transforming the university into a vibrant, relevant and sustainable institution,” he added.
Kiama’s other focus is governance reforms where he points out the need to refresh management, administrative oversight and governance structures.
He said redundant and overlapping systems will be eliminated to ensure smooth flow of responsibilities.
Data driven management reforms is yet another focus for Kiama.
“In 2016, a visitation panel of the university observed that one of the constraints impeding institutional planning, was the absence of a coordinated data management.
We will invest our energies and resources towards setting up a comprehensive and integrated data management system,” said Kiama.
This, he said, will entail re-engineering business processes and enhancing the use of technology in curriculum content delivery, student management, administration of exams, human resource management and optimise deployment of services to improve on overall productivity.