‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’, a famous quote by Lao Tzu which suggests that there is a starting point for any milestone.
9th of September, 2022 marked the beginning of an academic journey for the September, 2022 first-year students at the Technical University of Mombasa. The first-year students, popularly known as freshers were ushered into campus life by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Laila Abubakar and the university senators in a colorful ceremony, held in the university assembly hall. They were guided on how they will conduct their core business of learning and other relevant operations within and outside the university as TUM students throughout their stay and study life period at TUM.
The event was hybrid, with new students on the main campus attending physically while the new students on Kwale and Lamu campuses attended virtually. This is a clear demonstration of how the university has and continues to embrace technology.
While congratulating the freshers on their achievements in the KCSE examinations and on being selected into TUM as one of the great public universities. The VC highlighted the institution’s expectations of the new students and emphasized the significance of education, terming it as the best investment anyone can have. “If you plan for a year, sow rice. If you plan for a decade, plant trees. If you plan for a lifetime, educate children.” Her confidence, determination, courage, language command, empowerment, and vision in her speech characterized her wonderful leadership skills.
She also acknowledged the efforts of the university council, management, staff and students for their support and dedication to achieving excellence, which resulted in the university being ranked fourth (4th) in performance contracting last year among thirty-nine (39) other public universities.
She further gave a brief history of the institution emphasizing its unique architectural designs, dating back to the late 1940s when it began as the Mombasa Institute of Muslim Education and as the first tertiary institution in East Africa. She acknowledged that many successful leaders have passed through this great institution and continue to make a mark in the nation.
The Vice-Chancellor encouraged the incoming students to endeavor and achieve excellence in their studies as per the TUM motto ‘Jiddu Tajidu’. She further encouraged the freshers to stay focused on learning and its practical application in real-life situations to become job creators, entrepreneurs and innovators.
Given the proximity of the institution on the shoreline, the Vice Chancellor laid emphasis on the fact that the institution offers swimming lessons for any student who would be interested, and cautioned the students not to attempt any swimming activities in the ocean if they were not skilled swimmers.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Research & Extension (DVC_ARE) Prof. Peter Gichangi gave his speech through an online platform. He welcomed the students to this great institution and advised them to be goal-oriented. He implored the students to set goals and work hard to achieve them, so as to lead a purpose-driven life. He concluded his address by saying, “There's nothing wrong with setting goals that seem too far for you to reach, as long as they're still within the principalities of your reality.”
In his speech, The Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Administration, Finance and Planning, Prof. Joseph Rasowo acquainted the audience with information about his role as the DVC (AFP). ‘I am responsible for promoting the personal and professional development of staff, safeguarding TUM’s interests, premises, personnel and property, managing transport fleet and related strategies, promoting performance management culture in TUM and ensuring optimal and innovative utilization of resources, among many other functions.’ He also encouraged the students to be open and to express any challenges they may encounter in the course of their studies and stay at TUM, through the office of the Dean of Students.
‘Enjoy the journey and try to get better every day.
And don’t lose the passion and love for what you do.’