Culture Committee Webinar #3: Growing in Leaps and Bounds
Can you imagine if you had a special name, at your workplace, that when mentioned brightened your day? Well, that was the case with one of our speakers Rosemary Mbaluto – Doctoral Fellow – Strathmore University Business School (SBS). Every time, Ms. Dorina Telaide – Director, Administration Services and Special Advisor to the VC said it, it warmed Rosemary’s heart and through it, showed the personalized attention that was present between staff members in the earlier days at Strathmore.
Together with Prof. Robert Mudida – Director of the Institute of Public Policy and Governance at SBS – Rosemary narrated the changes encountered in the transition from a College to a University in a conversation moderated by Caleb Kandagor- Teaching Fellow – School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
One thing that stands out as having remained constant through the transition is the dress code. It is still a major identifier of a Stratizen and its benefits flow beyond the classroom. As attested by many of our alumni, the dress code has helped them fit in without having to worry if their wear is up to par at the moment of joining the professional world.
Combined, Rosemary’s and Prof. Mudida’s journey in SU spans over 35 years. They shared anecdotes and experiences of the transition.
Ms. Rosemary, what are some of the changes you have seen in student experience over the years?
Apart from the increase in the number of students and subjects to be taught I continue to see strides that nurture Stratizens beyond academia. Some may have evolved and others have remained the same.
- The presence of an active Student Council that was introduced between 2010/2011. The student body now has leaders elected by the students themselves. One of their major roles is to be the voice of the students in University affairs.
- The presence of a priest in each school help in building a more holistic citizen. Students now have a larger number of Chaplains who have close dealings with them.
- The growth of the mentoring department: With the introduction of Industry Mentoring, the students in the 3rd and 4th year have at their disposal professional mentors who will work with them in the last lap of their university life to help offer guidance as they get seek work based learning experiences.
- Opportunities for students now go beyond the classroom. Many students have been able to travel abroad and get the feel of international industry practice. This helps diversify their world view as they get to see and learn from other cultures beyond Africa.
Prof. Mudida, how can SU ensure it is relevant and a game-changer in academia?
There is no doubt Strathmore is one of the best universities if not the best university in Africa. It is comparable to many leading institutions that offer a world-class education. However, we need to keep improving and working on various facets that will keep us competitive in academia but also in bringing positive change in society through research. Some of the best practices facilitating such include:
- Building a reading culture in our students, which has visibly declined from previous years. For example, a student of Economics needs to read beyond the slides shared in class. To upscale the knowledge of the subject, they need to be in touch with other reads such as The Economist and The Business Daily.
- Faculty members can collaborate especially those that teach the same subject. They can identify areas of research most relevant and work together in cultivating research projects.
- The Institution needs to ensure that materials that would facilitate research are available and accessible to both faculty and students.
- The University should continue to collaborate with other institutions locally and abroad to ensure that we are learning from them, through exchange programs (eg Sciences Po) that allow both students and faculty to study, and teach abroad.
I wonder what else we will discover about SU in the next session on July 14th, 2021 at 12noon.
Diarize and let us keep journeying together as we learn our past and work on our future. See you then!
The Explore the SU Way webinar series is organized by the Culture Committee.
This article was written by Annete Karanja.
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