His Royal Highness, The Earl of Wessex, meets with the Vice Chancellors' as part of a hosted 'Youth' dialogue to educate young people on ICT and Innovation, entrepreneurship, climate change and environmental conservation and personal branding
As part of a hosted 'Youth dialogue,' we had a Vice Chancellor's Meeting with HRH Prince Edward KT, GCVO Earl of Wessex, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation, to educate our young people on entrepreneurship, personal branding, ICT and Innovation, and climate change and environmental conservation. There were four groups comprising of students from different Universities, each addressing one of the topical issues.
The Duke Of Edinburgh's International Award is a non-formal education and learning framework operating in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide, through which young people's achievements outside of academia are recognized and celebrated. The President's Award Kenya, the name under which The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award operates in the country, has been greatly supported by the Kenyan Government. The Award encourages young people to learn new skills, get physically active, volunteer within their communities, and discover a sense of adventure outside the classroom. It offers opportunities to young people that help them unlock their potential and be ready for the world, whatever that world may be. Using the Award framework and with the support of adult volunteers, young people develop skills that future employers and education institutions value highly, giving them an edge in the ever-changing modern world as they work towards achieving the internationally recognized Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.
The idea behind this function was to give an opportunity to the students to meet the royal highness and for the royal highness to interact with the students so that he could see how the program is impacting young people in the universities. He was also interested in knowing how universities, through the Vice-Chancellors can leverage "The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award" to achieve their objectives.
During the session with the students, His Royal Highness advised them on several issues. For example, how the students must use new ICT tools responsibly so that technology does not distract them from other activities. He also advised them on the vast prospects presented by ICT technology and how The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has incorporated ICT to make reporting the students' actions in the President's Award scheme more efficient. He also discussed the subject of climate change and conservation with them and what they are working on, and how they can integrate it in the society. Personal branding was also discussed, and how crucial it is in this century, where students are expected to be job-ready as soon as they graduate from university.
The Vice Chancellors' also discussed how they could leverage on 'The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program' to increase the number of students participating in the program and use it as an excellent example to bring about change to the youth. "As universities, we are all working together with The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award to empower our young people to be self-sufficient and able to work for themselves, as well as to become agents of societal transformation by being aware of the skills they need, the abilities they need to develop, and the needs of society." This visit is particularly significant since it gives The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award program a global perspective. More importantly, there is now a focus on university student participation. Vice Chancellors, as university leaders, must figure out how to support them so that they can benefit from the program, as well as how to develop processes and begin mainstreaming the program, even if it can be substituted in existing programs like leadership programs and scholarship awards."concluded the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ndirangu Kioni.