UON Alumni Association (UONAA) Scholarship Fund is a program that provides University Scholarships and Mentorship to academically gifted but financially disadvantaged University of Nairobi students. This fund is a build up from the UON Bursary Fund that UONAA has supported over the last 10 years to a tune of KShs. 21,000,000 (Twenty One Million )in line with one of its main objectives; to assist the University to initiate, organize and sustain programmes such as Bursary Fund, Outstanding Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award.
In the 2019/2020 academic year, UON Alumni Association led by the Chairman Mr. Isaac Awuondo made a commitment to kick start an Alumni Scholarship Fund that seeks to support 1,000 bright and needy students pursuing their studies at the University of Nairobi over the next 5 years. In addition to the scholarship, the Association will endeavour to attach the beneficiaries to alumni in the Industry for mentorship and practical exposure through Internship and work study programs.
Speaking during the award ceremony that saw 52 (Fifty Two) 1st year students get a 1 year full scholarship, the Chairman noted that although the Scholarship targeted 1st year students, the Association received over 500 applications from UON continuing students and 259 from 1st Year Students. This is a clear indicator that more needs to be done to support students currently pursuing their studies at the University. He also noted a low number of women applicants to the Scholarship Fund. Only 23% of the applicants were women compared to 77% men. He emphasised the need for more sensitization during the next cycle based on lessons learnt from this pilot phase.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama recognized the efforts of the Association in supporting the University of Nairobi in various activities and projects i.e. Bursary Fund, Nairobi Innovation Week, University Prizes, Open Days and Graduation Ceremonies. He promised to continue engaging the Association on ways of encouraging UON Alumni out there to come back and give back to their alma mater.
University of Nairobi Chancellor Dr. (Mrs.) Vijoo Rattansi on her part challenged the beneficiaries to work hard and be a shining example to the rest of their fellow comrades. She reiterated that alumni can only continue supporting them if they see the fruits of their sacrifices. She encouraged them to work hard, be disciplined, be focused and remain hungry for knowledge.