Kibabii University had the privilege of hosting staff and students from Norwegian Teachers Academy (NLA) University College for a cultural and academic exchange programme. Led by Professor Solveig Omland Professor of Intercultural Studies and head of Intercultural Department. The delegation had the opportunity of paying a courtesy call to the University Council Chair and the Vice-Chancellor in the VC’s Office accompanying them were Coordinator Partnership & Linkages Dr. Patrick Owoche; Coordinator Center for Languages and Cultural Studies Dr. Eric Wamalwa; Dean Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Dr. Ben Nyongesa, Dean School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Dr. Robert Kati; Chair Department of Kiswahili & Other African Languages Dr. Fred Simiyu and the Ag. Chair English, Literature, Journalism & Mass Communication Dr. Felix Orina.
The Chairman of the University Council, Prof. Chris MacOloo welcomed the visitors to Kibabii University and stated that the university was looking forward to collaborate with NLA University College in order to benefit the institution and expand its global networking. Addressing the visitors the University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Ipara Odeo expressed his joy at the choice of Kibabii University by the NLA University College and stressed on the advantage of the visit and that it portrays a strong partnership between the two institutions. Stressing on the Council Chair’s sentiments the VC. noted that there is an opportunity to perform a worldwide collaboration in capacity building and coordinating of ideas in project exchange as a benefit to the University at large.
At the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Planning, Partnerships, Research and Innovation (PPRI) the visitors were briefed on the plans the office had in strengthening the collaboration between the two institutions. The Ag. DVC PPRI. Prof. Munir Muganda thanked the visitors for their visit and highlighted the benefits it was going to bring in partnership, research and innovations and embracing diversity among different cultures. The DVC. informed the visitors that Kibabii University had talks on writing a joint Erasmus plus global mobility grant proposal together with Moi University and NLA University College. NLA University College’s involvement in the grant proposal can provide opportunities for staff and students mobility and the collaboration while Kibabii University can strengthen the application.
As part of their visit to Kibabii University the visitors had an open interaction session with staff and students from the Center for Languages and Cultural Studies, Kiswahili & Other African Languages and the Department of English, Literature, Journalism & Mass Communication. The interactive session which drew undergraduate students taking Kiswahili and English and Literature centered on oral literature as a cultural artefact and art. Participants from the two institutions were assigned various topics of discussion in their respective groups for presentation. Addressing the sitting Dr. Fred Simiyu the convener of the session thanked the students from the two programmes who participated in the interactive session which was able to show how language is a powerful tool in preserving and maintaining cultures not only in Kenya but across the world. Prof. Solveig Omland noted that oral literature is powerful and brings together the diverse cultures in the world. She expressed confidence that the collaboration established with the departments will enable the exchange of students and staff, fostering a rich academic environment which will provide opportunities for learning new perspective and teaching methods thus enhancing educational experience at both institutions. The visit ended with the visitors experiencing a variety of cultural presentations in forms of songs and dances in embracing the cultural diversity that makes the Kibabii University community.