USIU-Africa launched the student center on the 10th November. The center is designed to cater to a student population of approximately 8,000 students. The 77,120 square feet building is estimated to have cost the institution Kshs. 735 Million. Sharing their excitement on social media, the institution hopes to improve student services with the opening of the new facility.
The center spans three wings and four floors, designed to concentrate student services and recreational facilities under one roof. These services will now relocate to modern offices, together with expanded facilities such as the medical center and the fitness and wellness center which will occupy three spaces on three floors – a state of the art cardio room, a strength training room and a main gym that can host up to sixty users at a go.
One of the most innovative features of the new building is the presence of a top notch hotel and restaurant management training facility – the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa. The new kitchen, cafeteria, and an additional demonstration kitchen will allow students to be prepared for a world-class working environment comparable to a five-star hotel and restaurant business. The university has also set aside an innovation space on the top floor expected to nurture initiatives and innovative research and entrepreneurial ventures in technology, energy, agribusiness, among other areas.
Offices hosted in the building include Career and Placement Services, Counselling, international students and alumni offices, academic support services and Student leadership spaces. The centralization of student services located at the center will help empower students to focus more intensely on their studies and their personal growth.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza emphasized the importance of Student Affairs and Services in the development of any higher learning institution. “At USIU-Africa, we believe in a well-rounded student which we know the education ministry has stressed in its strategies for improving higher education in Kenya. We are committed to playing our part and today’s ceremony is a sign of our devotion to education in Africa,” said Prof. Zeleza.
“The Student Center will not only help to differentiate ourselves from other institutions by providing quality education but will also ensure that we meet our responsibility of contributing positively to a well-balanced workforce for Africa’s advancement,” said the former Vice Chancellor ,Prof Freida Brown.“I am greatly honored to have been a part of achieving this and thank everybody who saw the vision I had and believed in the USIU-Africa dream,” she concluded.
“Universities must aim at giving graduates relevant curriculum and life skills with the changing times of our rising continent-Africa,” stated the USIU-Africa Chancellor, Dr. Manu Chandaria who was also present at the event.
Chairman of the Board, Youth Enterprise Development Fund, Mr. Ronald Osumba in his remarks encouraged USIU-Africa students to seek to create and take advantage of university life to build a foundation for their careers and pointed out that the Kenyan space is very dynamic and that when traditional income avenues dwindle, modernity opens others.
“The space is even greater for those with innovative ideas that seek to add value to what we do from morning to evening. The doors of entrepreneurship are wide open for you. We also have a good enabling environment for youth to run enterprises. The government has developed, and is implementing, strategies that give young people a real chance to find decent and productive work,” he concluded.