- Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research and Outreach)
- Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration, Finance and Planning)
- Registrar (Academic, Research and Outreach)
- All Deans-SBESS, SME, SSI, SAEES
- Directors-APD, Finance, TVET, OdeL, AQA
- HoDs and CoDs
- Dean of Students
- SATTU Leaders
- Our bright and eager first-year students
Ladies and gentlemen,
Throughout history, from their foundational beginnings in monasteries during the Middle Ages to date, universities have been home to the young, brilliant and curious minds dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and rational inquiry. Taita Taveta University (TTU), which you have qualified to join, stands out among the modern, young and progressive universities living up to this high calling, the home of ideas par excellence – a first among equals if we are to talk of the league of universities that embrace collegiality, innovation and positive impact on society.
Welcome to Taita Taveta University, where ideas come to life. Today is a day of celebration as we warmly welcome our newest members to the academic family. I stand before you as the vice chancellor of this esteemed institution, and it is both an honor and a privilege to address you today.
First and foremost, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to everyone. Your hard work, dedication and commitment have borne fruit and secured you a place at Taita Taveta University.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Taita Taveta University is not just a place of learning but a beacon of hope, positivity, innovation, resilience, and boundless opportunities. We are proud to be known as the “home of ideas,” where minds are nurtured and dreams take flight. Where ideas come to life. You have chosen a university that values academic excellence, research and holistic development.
Before we proceed, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the instrumental role played by your teachers, parents and guardians. They have been your guiding lights, offering support and encouragement every step of the way. Today we celebrate their unwavering dedication to your success.
Let’s give them a round of applause.
I also extend my appreciation to our university management and dedicated student leaders who have tirelessly worked to orient you to the vibrant culture of Taita Taventa University. They have introduced you to our campus, our values and our ethos-what we proudly call the “home of ideas.” Their commitment to orienting you deserves our recognition and gratitude.
Ladies and gentlemen
As you embark on this exciting chapter of your life, I emphasize the importance of focus, discipline and integrity. Taita Taveta University offers a conducive learning and personal growth environment, but it is your responsibility to make the most of this opportunity. By diligently adhering to the rules and regulations of TTU, you will enjoy your time and lay the foundation for a successful and rewarding career.
I urge you to rise to the challenges that come your way. Make your parents, guardians, lecturers, society and the entire University proud by striving for excellence in everything you do. It is your achievements that will reflect upon our great University.
Ladies and gentlemen
Always conduct yourselves with honor, dignity and discipline. You are the ambassadors of Taita Taveta University and your actions and behavior will serve as a statement to the character of our great University.
In my role as Vice Chancellor, I want to assure you of my commitment to serving and protecting you. We have ensured all of you are accommodated in our residential halls. This decision is not just about convenience but about creating an environment that fosters learning and growth. Our residential halls offer study spaces, security lights and a safe atmosphere.
Moreover, I am proud to share that many projects that enhance the student experience, such as those in the health unit, catering unit, study sheds, library and more are carried out by students themselves. As part of their internal attachments, students from the School of Mines and Engineering engage in these projects, gaining valuable skills and experiences.
Besides faith-based groups that nurture you spiritually, TTU has several academic as well as business and social innovation clubs, such as Enactus, among other interesting and beneficial clubs and co-curricular activities which will empower you to face the job market with creativity and transferable skills. Seek and join at least one of them.
Taita Taveta University also offers numerous opportunities for international exposure. We have established partnerships with universities in Germany, the UK, and China, allowing our students to participate in summer schools, research projects, and student exchange programs across various disciplines. If you excel in your studies, the world truly becomes your classroom, and you evolve to be a global citizen.
I encourage you to explore your talents and interests through co-curricular activities. These activities promote personal growth not only of yourself, but they also contribute to the vibrancy of our University. By participating, you can showcase your skills and help shine a positive light on our institution.
The transition to university life is exciting and transformative since you will grow academically, personally and professionally. As you embark on this journey, I believe embodying certain qualities will make your time here successful and enriching.
So, what makes an ideal university student? Here are some of my thoughts:
- Curiosity and a hunger for knowledge: the ideal university student possesses an insatiable curiosity. They are eager to learn, question and explore the world of ideas. Remember, it is not just about acquiring knowledge but also about how you apply that knowledge to shape the world around you.
- Resilience and adaptability: University life is full of challenges. You will face rigorous coursework, deadlines and perhaps, even moments of doubt. An ideal student is resilient, bouncing back from setbacks, and exudes adaptive resilience by embracing change as an opportunity for growth.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills: In a world replete with complex issues, such as climate change and pandemics, an ideal student is a critical thinker keen on finding solutions to stubborn problems in society – fixed on the goal but flexible on the strategy.
- Effective communication: the ability to express ideas clearly and persuasively is critical. An ideal student not only listens actively but also communicates effectively both in writing and in speech. These skills are invaluable, not only in academics but also in life.
- Collaboration and empathy: you’ll find that learning extends beyond individual efforts. An ideal university student understands and connects with others – peers, seniors, and juniors.
- Integrity and ethics: upholding ethical standards is non-negotiable. An ideal student demonstrates integrity in all aspects of their academic and personal life, respecting the work and ideas of others, and disagreeing maturely based on objective reasons and principles.
- Respecting diversity: our Taita Taveta University is a melting pot of cultures, backgrounds and perspectives – unity in diversity. An ideal student appreciates diversity and fosters an inclusive and welcoming environment.
- Time management and balance: The Taita Taveta University experience is not just about studying. It is about personal growth, extracurricular activities and social connections. Striking a balance between academic pursuits and personal well-being is key.
- Vision and ambition: set personal goals, aim high (my high school personal motto), dream big, and practice self-motivation and regulation. An ideal university student is not limited by existing boundaries but dares to envision a brighter future and takes proactive steps towards it – even pushing the boundaries and broadening the horizon of possibilities.
- Contribution to society: finally, an ideal student understands that education is not only for personal gain but also for the betterment of society. Engaging in community service, volunteering and giving back is the hallmark of a well-rounded individual.
As you embark on your university journey, I encourage you to reflect on these qualities. Embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, for they are the building blocks of your growth. Remember that your time here is not just about acquiring a degree; it’s about becoming a better, more informed and responsible global citizen.
Our faculty and staff are here to support you every step of the way. Seek guidance when needed, engage with your peers and take advantage of the wealth of resources available to you.
In conclusion, let me declare with sincerity that I only see two types of students before me today: the ideal university students, and those who are just about to be the ideal university students. With that quality or ready potential, your journey starts today! I will be the happiest man to behold the incredible impact you will make on our institution and ultimately on the world.
The moving wheel of time and generational succession has seen your predecessors of Generation X and Generation Y pass through TTU and graduate successfully, now our proud alumni studying and working in top universities and industries across the globe, for example in the USA, Canada, Germany, China, the UK, Spain and Australia, among others. Now Generation Z like you have another chance to be our exemplary alumni in the near future. Make TTU proud! I am confident that you will make us proud.
Once again, congratulations on joining Taita Taveta University (TTU). Embrace this journey with enthusiasm and determination; together, we will achieve great things.
My solemn commitment is to serve and protect you.
Welcome to the Home of Ideas!
Thank you, and God Bless You, the great Taita Taveta University and our Nation Kenya.
Karibuni sana Taita Taveta University.
PROF. FRED SIMIYU BARASA, PhD.
VICE CHANCELLOR, TAITA TAVETA UNIVERSITY