Browsing University publications by Subject "A forum for the youth"
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- ItemThe Update(Focusing on Excellence)(Tangaza University College, 2017) Tangaza University CollegeT February 2017 Focusing on Excellence he terms ‘quality’, ‘integrity’ and ‘academic excellence” feature prominently in Tanga- za’s statements of its Vision, Mission and Core Values. These attributes do not develop by themselves, but need our constant efforts to make them a reality. As you are aware, after the Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i recently managed to produce credible KCSE results in record time, he turned his attention to tertiary institutions, ordering that a “quality audit” of all universities and constituent colleges in Kenya be completed within one month. The Commission for University Education (CUE) was given the daunting task. On 19-20 January 2017 it was our turn to be inspected! Overall, the five-member inspection team from the CUE was pleased with what they found: adherence to the requirements on class hours, academic work in courses, supervision of postgraduate students, and so on. They were particularly impressed by the diversity of our students and academic staff. But at the same time they reminded us to be very vigilant in following the required admission standards, since it is one of the key areas they will look at in considering our application for a university charter. They also advised us to accelerate the approval of programmes in the pipeline for CUE accreditation; to clarify and standardize policies on credit transfers, supplementary exams, and other matters; to establish a director and directorate of postgraduate studies; and to improve the ratio of full-time to part-time academic staff. We assured them that, In fact, we are already hard at work on improving in each of these areas, and will redouble our efforts. Throughout all of this, the process of applying for a university charter continues. We submitted our detailed response to the Commission’s Technical Inspection Report back in November, and we are awaiting a confirmation visit. The CUE review of our draft charter and statutes should commence soon; we were fortunate to have someone from the CUE legal office on the inspection team! But meeting the highest academic standards would mean little without a framework of moral integrity. That is one of the reasons why, at Tangaza, we are constantly trying to improve our system of checks and balances. It should be clear to everyone that Tangaza is a “corruption-free zone”, whether we have signs to that effect or not. More than that, we need to ensure and environment where everyone is treated with dignity, where everyone feels safe, respected and valued. We are diligently working on these issues as well. I sometimes hear it said that Tangaza should not become overly preoccupied with following government rules and regulations but should focus instead on service to the poor and marginalized. After all, to paraphrase what Jesus said in the Gospels, the rules were made for human beings, not human beings for the rules! I would be the first to agree that we need to keep our priorities straight! Still, I don’t believe we are faced with an “either-or” choice. The directives of the Commission and other guidelines are intended to improve the quality of what we offer to our students, not to create unnecessary hurdles. And would we really be helping needy students, for example, if we were to be shut down because we had admitted some of them irregularly? So I see it as a dialogical process. By working with rather than around the Commission and other regulatory bodies, while at the same time holding fast to our Gospel-based values, we can make sure that Tangaza’s ‘quality’, ‘integrity’ and ‘academic excellence’ do not remain mere words on paper.