Society / Education
Thursday, 06 Oct 2016 21:42 EATdaixienjeri254@gmail.com
Not many old Kenyans know that there is a university in Nairobi called the Multimedia University. Having been granted a university charter only in 2013, the university hasn’t graduated many classes into the job market. With a niche in media and communication, it doesn’t train for many other fields, such as medicine or law, which bring universities into the media every so often.
Neither has the university’s location helped its case. Sequestered in Rongai, the bustling but unplanned estate in the outskirts of Nairobi that some city residents derisively call ‘the diaspora’, it is out of sight for most Nairobians. Still, as a form four leaver scouting for college placement, I knew all of these drawbacks of the university but applied to be admitted there, recognising its other attributes that would make it the ideal place for me to study.
I wanted a career in communication and needed a university that could sharpen my inborn skills, and Multimedia, then as now, was the only Kenyan university specializing in communication and media training. Its programmes have recently been ranked the second best in Kenya, ahead of more established institutions.
The university is equipped with a modern media house and an ICT museum where students get to study current industry skills. The media house contains a radio studio, a television studio and a computer lab. The radio studio is used by the students when airing shows and news programmes on the MMU radio station which is received on the frequency 99.9FM throughout the Rongai area. The television studio is used by media students to practice and grow their skills.
The ICT Museum is an exhibition of artifacts that illuminate the advancement of both ICT and Communication. This museum and the library are the two most educative places within the school.
In addition to media and communication, the institution offers other industry-relevant courses like engineering and business studies at many levels of study. The faculty have devised a unique strategy that enables trainers to go to clients’ locations or other places suitable for both parties.
The lecturers have a way of teaching the students how to excel in academics, in their careers and, most of all, in life. They may not come to class and write headings like “LIFE SECRETS” on the chalkboard, but what they tend to pose as jokes are the secrets of life and life lessons that end up helping one after completing his or her campus education.
The university's academic programmes exist along with a well-planned community. With a campus population of nearly 60,000 students, the university provides ample physical and social space for students to learn and interact freely among each other. It has a great student leadership team, with a council, known as MUKSA, that has a unique way of leading through working hand in hand with the students and administration to reach decisions that cater for both parties' concerns.
As we all know, nothing contributes to success in an organization, school or company like the leaders and those being led working together. The same relationship is also portrayed by students who have integrated themselves in the neighbouring community of Rongai.
In the same way the students are united, they come together with the host community during hard times as witnessed sometime last week when they joined Ongata Rongai residents in a protest against matatu madness. The protest was aimed at communicating the message “OUR LIVES ARE PRECIOUS” to the Rongai matatu drivers after one of our students was killed in the road accident that occurred on Lang’ata Road.
This act of mourning and affirming together proved our solidarity with the community which lost many more people in the accident.
Another admirable aspect of the university is its serenity. Having been established in recent years, its infrastructure is modern and student housing well planned. The boys and girls hostels, for example, are separated by a small compound where studying tents have been built. The hostels are both spacious and affordable. The media lab is located just a few metres from the school club house which also boasts of a swimming pool .
Away from infrastructure, what sets the university even further apart from the rest is its coexistence with nature. We get to see more than buildings and pavements. Warthogs roam around the college compound as if they are part of the scholars, not to mention the baboons that keep the students on their toes, especially the ladies!
Being young, the university has graduated only a few classes, but as one would expect of a budding great institution many of the graduates have secured well-paying jobs in the large companies, and in countries like Australia, United Kingdom and United States of America.
For me and many students who have discovered it, Multimedia University is the place where dreams come true.
Daisy is a student of Multimedia University and the writer of the blog www.realitycheck.co.ke