KENYA: New VC Promises to Re-Assert Status of Tangaza as University of Choice in Inaugural Speech

By Paschal Norbert

NAIROBI, AUGUST 29, 2023 (CISA)- In his inaugural speech during his installation and the convocation of the new academic year 2023-2024, Tangaza University College (TUC) new Vice Chancellor, Rev Prof Patrick Mwania, CSSp, avowed to re-assert the identity and status of Tangaza as one of the most desired universities for many in Kenya and beyond.

Prof Mwania, who has been serving as the Director of TUC’s Identity, Mission and Chaplaincy was appointed the fourth vice-chancellor designate on August 3, 2023.

In addressing the leadership and management challenges the Catholic institution has faced in the past two years leading to his election as VCD, Prof Mwania said, “I think it is not all lost and I want to assure the Tangaza family that I will hold hands with everybody that we may recover what might have gone lost and still re-assert the identity and status of Tangaza of being one of the most desired universities and a university of choice for many in Kenya and beyond.”

“I believe we still have what it takes to take us where we want to be. It takes a leap of faith to believe and trust strongly that the power is in us to turn challenges into opportunities and moments of weakness and failure into learning experiences for greater hope and success into the future,” he maintained.

The member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit – Spiritans, thanked the University Council for bestowing on him the confidence and trust to steer the 37-year-old university college to greatness, terming his new appointment as “such a great honour, but also such a great responsibility.”

Fr Mwania, in his speech also thanked Fr Prof Edward Etengu OSB, the Chancellor, for his remarkable stewardship of the university and highlighted the visionary spirit of the founders of TUC as the bedrock of success the institution has enjoyed over the years.

“Tangaza was founded about 37 years ago by visionary superiors – first of the three very first missionary congregations (the Spiritans, the Consolata and the Salesians of Don Bosco) who after being advised that there is not enough space at St. Thomas Aquinas to accommodate both Diocesan seminaries and the candidates from the missionary congregations – were inspired to take a bold step to start what originally was Tangaza Centre for Religious (TCR) aimed at training religious candidates for the priesthood and what has over the years of grown and metamorphosed to what we have today as Tangaza University College,” he said.

“From its genesis through its growth to what it is now, Tangaza takes pride in having many successful priests, missionaries and professionals out there who are transforming the Church and society in different ways. I can say without fear or contradiction that Tangaza is an Institution of choice for many – nationally and internationally because of the … reputation it has created through quality programmes and the professionalism exhibited in delivering these programmes,” he added.

Fr Mwania explained that Tangaza is on the verge of becoming a fully-fledged university and that the award of a charter by the government is imminent, urging more faculty to participate in cutting-edge scientific and inter-disciplinary research as research excellence is one of the distinctive pillars of a university.

“My job then is to join hands so that we may acquire the charter for our university and be able to do things we are unable to do in the state we are in. But even as we do that, we need to continue the campaign for quality teaching and quality programmes as well as the development of more post-graduate programmes and research strategies that will position Tangaza at the leading edge of the Global South as far as knowledge creation and innovation is concerned. To this end, I will ask the deans, directors and faculty to join hands with me to take a raft of measures to raise the standards of our existing post-graduate programmes as well as to create new ones so that we can be at par with other world-class universities,” he stated.

To the students, he said, “When you study with us here at Tangaza and you graduate – as you get out, you expect to be an intellectually competent graduate who has been prepared in an environment that values human freedom, a sense of responsibility and value orientation ready to transform the society. You expect to be a graduate whose mind has been taught, whose heart has been touched and whose life has been transformed so that transformation becomes your core business.”

Prof Mwania is the fourth VC of TUC after Rev Prof Stephen Mbugua, the current Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Prof David Wangombe and Rev Prof Appollinaire Chisungi, the immediate former VC.

Founded on August 25, 1986, as a Theological Center for the Religious, TUC has its roots in Catholic tradition and as an autonomous constituent college of CUEA, the university today offers undergraduate degrees, masters degrees, diploma programmes and a number of certificate programmes in its various institutes and schools.