END OF YEAR AND NEW YEAR MESSAGE
The Year 2021 has finally come to a close. It was a year of hope and great expectations as countries across the Globe confronted the challenges of COVID-19. It is the year that saw mass vaccinations against COVID-19, much reduced COVID-19 infections and gradual opening of economies around the world. In-person events were also allowed under strict observance of COVID-19 protocols but preferably for those vaccinated. This brought good tidings not only to citizens but also to institutions of learning and with it hope for the future of many young people around the world.
In Kenya, there was intense awareness creation towards uptake of COVID-19 vaccination and this led to full re-opening of the economy. This was preceded by full re-opening of Schools and other learning institutions but under strict guidance of Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols, thus ensuring that new infections were kept in check. Opening up the economy and resumption of normal learning has given the country hope and impetus as we look forward to welcoming the New Year 2022.
At the Management University of Africa, instituted several measures which ensured there was minimal interruption to our academic and other activities. The measures focused on governance, teaching and learning, research, student linkages, ICT and Security, marketing, Quality Assurance, Executive Capacity Development, Human Resource Development and Administration, and New and Continuing students.
The organs of the University charged with Governance responsibilities played their roles well during the year. The Chancellor discharged his duties as provided for in the statutes by among others presiding over the 8th graduation ceremony in which about 500 students graduated. He also gave critical strategic input in the development of the 2022-2026 strategic plan as well as participating in many other University functions where his presence was critical. The University Governing Council (UGC) also played its critical oversight and advisory roles dutifully and gave management the much-needed guidance and strategic direction. Other University organs including the University Management Board (UMB), Senate and the Students’ Council discharged their duties faithfully as required.
Teaching and Learning
The University continued to teach students using the blended mode of learning. This was further enhanced by face to face teaching when the government opened full time learning and teaching in all the learning institutions. Similarly, other learning and teaching complimentary and supplementary activities such as community services, industrial attachments, research supervision, as well as students’ research proposals and thesis defenses continued but under COVID-19 rules. These learning and teaching activities leveraged on the technology experience which the University deployed in the year 2020 to perfect its art of service delivery in 2021.
Research and Innovation
The University continued to carry out research with the intention of solving societal challenges as well as contributing to the body of knowledge in management and leadership. The research findings were disseminated through international academic
conferences, internal academic defenses as well as publications in the International Journal of Management and Leadership Studies and other academic media. The University is also in the process of publishing a book in Management and Leadership as well as engaging in collaborative research with like-minded institutions going into the Year 2022.
To achieve the University’s objective of producing all rounded graduates, student outreach activities such as industrial attachments, community service, as well as sports were held successfully both virtually and through face to face encounters. Sporting activities were, however, boosted later in the year by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by the government.
ICT and Security Services
The University leveraged on ICT services to supplement face-to-face in-person teaching and learning during the year. The traditional university activities such as meetings, research supervision, student admissions, orientations; teaching, examination administration, financial management, library services and research defenses, continued to embrace ICTs for effective service delivery. The department also provided cost effective security services through outsourced services in both the Main Campus – Kisaju, Kajiado County and the South C Campus in the Nairobi City.
Following the easing out of COVID-19 restrictions by the Government and the opening of the economy, marketing activities continued unabated and witnessed recruitment of one of the largest number of students ever recruited in the University. In addition, the
University continued to generate leads through virtual platforms and converted a good number of them into student admissions. Partnerships, linkages and collaborations with tertiary and middle level institutions were signed with some leading to recruitment of students. The marketing department also organized several visibility interviews for the Vice-Chancellor with leading media houses such as Citizen TV, KTN, KBC, K24, and Switch TV to market the University locally, regionally and globally. Similarly, the University conducted interviews and disseminated research outputs through the print media.
Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality assurance is the hallmark of credible University education. The Quality Assurance Department continued to discharge its activities successfully during the year. These activities included teaching effectiveness evaluation, tracer surveys as well as departmental audits. Similarly, the department continued to co-ordinate implementation of the 2020 CUE Technical Inspection Recommendations towards award of charter.
Executive Capacity Development Programmes (ECDP)
ECDP leveraged on ICTs to deliver its mandate during the year. Following the re-opening of the economy, the department conducted a number of face-to-face (F2F) trainings towards the end of the year. The department also embraced virtual trainings to diversify delivery of its mandate to boost its earnings.
Administration and Human Resource Development
The department carried out its function with professionalism throughout the year. A number of policy documents were prepared and signed into operation. The department also implemented a number of 2020 CUE Technical Inspection Report recommendations
towards award of Charter. The department anticipates to secure a cheaper medical service provider in the new year with better services and seamless changeover to enhance staff wellness.
The University employed prudent financial management measures during the year. The University transformed the Main Campus –Kisaju into a state– of- the -art campus. This was not a mean achievement in the face of COVID-19 challenges. In addition, the department continued to leverage on ICTs for efficiency and effectiveness in financial services delivery.
New and Continuing Students
As we say goodbye to 2021 and usher in the New Year 2022, we take stock of last year’s achievements and look forward with confidence to better days ahead. The New Year will not be devoid of challenges as it is an election year and a new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, will be ravaging the land. However, we are confident that with the increasing uptake of the vaccine and the possibility of booster shots, all will be well.
The Year 2022 will also be the year of the beginning of our next strategic planning cycle. We look forward to the full implementation of the 2022 – 2026 strategic plan, building on the achievements of the previous plan as well as the master plan.
The University has come this far despite the challenges of the pandemic. I commend both staff and students for their resilience. I also commend our stakeholders for remaining steadfast during the year. As we welcome the new year, let us commit ourselves to be even better as we grow the University to the next level.
As we usher in the New Year 2022, we are very optimistic that better days lie ahead. We plan to build on our 2021 achievements to ensure that MUA continues to enable futures and impact progress. The University will continue to offer innovative teaching that guarantee quality in all its programmes in the year 2022 and beyond.
I welcome all the new and continuing students to the Management University of Africa.
I wish all of you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year 2022 full of God’s blessings.
Prof. Washington Okeyo, PhD, MBA, MKIM, BSc.