University of Nairobi Strategic Plan 2018-2023
The University of Nairobi is the oldest university in Kenya, and the largest in the east and central African region. From its humble beginnings with 215 students 62 years ago in 1956 as the Royal Technical College, it has an enrolment of over 65,000 students today. It offers a wide range of academic programmes in its seven colleges spread over 10 campuses in which there are 29 faculties, schools, and institutes.
The programmes fall under the broad areas of humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, engineering and built environment, arts and design, computing and informatics, law and business, medicine and health sciences, agriculture and food sciences, veterinary and animal sciences, and education. The diversity of programmes, promoting multidisciplinary teaching, research and community service, are backed up by the newly established Open, Distance Education and e-Learning centre (the ODeL Campus).
The university has the largest concentration of scholars and about 50% of all the professors in the country. It has continued to be a centre of intellectual life, a locus of research activity extending the frontiers of knowledge, a resource for professional development, and a key player in the growing global network of scholarship. In 2017, for greater attention and proper management of postgraduate programmes, the university operationalised the Graduate School to replace the Board of Postgraduate Studies.
The overall performance of the university has been good. On the whole, the university has maintained a leadership position nationally and regionally. Its score in the government performance contract evaluation has been consistently rated as excellent, and its position in the global Webometrics ranking in July 2018 was 621, making it the number one university in the country and taking position five in Africa.
The operational environment for the higher education sector in the country is dynamic such that the university needs to understand and align itself to changes taking place in the university sub- sector for it to adequately cope with new environmental realities. These changes are captured in the national legal framework with the implementation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the enactment of the Universities Act. No. 42 in 2012, the establishment of the Commission for University Education and the award of charters to 75 private and public universities, which have led to increased competition among universities.
Even as it operates in this environment, the university has a duty to not only maintain its leadership position but also improve on it. Consequently, it has to continue to be the best and retain its leadership position in the higher education sector in the country. Further, it has to embrace quality, retain the best staff and mobilize additional resources to maintain this leadership position. At the same time, the university will have to be more responsive to its internal and external stakeholders. Prudent management of resources, global competitiveness and an enabling governance framework will be given great prominence in this university strategy.
This strategic plan will guide the university’s operations for the next five years. It is fully synchronised with the Kenya’s Vision 2030; the Big Four, the Medium Term Plan III, the Strategic Plan of the Ministry of Education; the Sector Performance Standards; other higher education sector strategies, the Constitution of Kenya, and the Kenya Universities Act No. 42 (2012). In developing the Strategic Plan, the University took cognizance of the following:
- the significant achievements of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan and the short-term implementation plan and priorities for FY 2016/17 and FY 2017/18, set to expire in June 2018,
- the changes that have taken place in the university’s operating environment to warrant changes in the priorities for the FY 2018-2023,
- what the university needs to do differently to achieve the planned activities and targets for the FY 2018-2023, and
- the immediate priorities that the university should focus on in the FY 2018-2019.
The development of the Strategic Plan 2018-2023, underscored the need for the University to:
- maintain its leadership as the leading university in Kenya and the region,
- sustain its capability to attract top students and competent staff,
- upscale its mentorship role among public universities and in the higher education sector in Kenya,
- work towards having a financially self-sustaining and self-reliant institution,
- have a working and teaching environment that conforms to world-class standards, and
- create a new and enabling culture among its students and staff.