In a significant event marking a new era of ambition and collaboration, the University of Nairobi welcomed its newly appointed Chancellor, Prof. Patrick V. Verkooijen, on Wednesday, January 31st, 2024. The visit, centered on enhancing the university's global standing and fostering strategic partnerships, saw the Chancellor engaging with faculty and students of the Faculty of Built Environment and Design.
Addressing a gathering of academics, researchers, and students, Chancellor Verkooijen outlined his vision for propelling the University of Nairobi to the forefront of African academia. "My offering is to be a connector to the global stage," he declared, setting the tone for an era of enhanced international collaboration and resource mobilization.
Prof. Verkooijen emphasized the need for strategic partnerships and resource mobilization, calling upon all stakeholders to capitalize on the university's brand value and academic prowess. "If we believe in lifelong learning, we can harness the top partnerships of this university," he remarked, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between academia and the global ecosystem.
The Chancellor stressed the importance of flagship initiatives and strategic resource mobilization strategies to realize this vision. He challenged the faculty to think boldly and propose transformative ideas that would propel the university forward. "What will it take for the University of Nairobi to become the number one university on the continent?" he asked, encouraging innovative thinking and collaborative action.
During the visit, Dr. Arthur Munyua Mwaura, Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, presented an overview of the faculty's achievements, programs, and ongoing research projects. The faculty's commitment to areas such as decarbonization of buildings, green building practices, affordable housing, and innovation in fashion and textiles resonated with the Chancellor's vision for impactful research and development.
Accompanied by Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama, Chair of Council Prof. Amukowa Anangwe, and other key university officials, the Chancellor's visit symbolized a renewed focus on collaboration, innovation, and excellence. Prof. Lilac Osanjo, Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment and Design, and Associate Dean Dr. Muketha warmly welcomed the Chancellor and his delegation, underscoring the faculty's commitment to supporting his ambitious agenda.
As the University of Nairobi embarks on this journey of transformation under the leadership of Chancellor Verkooijen, the faculty, students, and stakeholders alike are energized by the prospect of realizing the university's full potential. With strategic partnerships, innovative research, and a shared vision of excellence, the University of Nairobi is poised to redefine the landscape of higher education in Africa and beyond.