E- Readiness Assessment Survey


Following the statement issued by H.E the President on Sunday, 15th, March 2020 which among other measures advised Universities to close by Friday March 20, 2020 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, a special Senate meeting was held on March 16, 2020 followed by a special University Executive Board (UEB) meeting, the two organs thus directed that the university closes on March 17 2020.

Subsequent to this, and following a senate resolution that all teaching & learning be migrated to online platforms in the face of Covid-19 pandemic, the Vice Chancellor directed the Director ICT and Director ODeL to assist and facilitate staff and students to take up online teaching and learning. Online training sessions for University Managers, Academic staff, administrative and support staff and students commenced on 23rd March 2020 and ran for three weeks. 

An online survey was thus conducted by the ICT Centre and ODEL to assess the e-readiness in preparing the University Community for online teaching and learning as well as conduct other work activities. 

The survey was carried out in order to get feedback on the impact of the online training carried out during the first month of the COVID-19 period.

The objectives of the online training were:

  1. To equip University of Nairobi students with knowledge and skills on online learning tools for effective online learning.
  2. To equip University of Nairobi academic staff with knowledge and skills on online learning tools for effective online facilitation. 
  3. To equip University of Nairobi administration and support staff with knowledge and skills to enable them undertake their various duties remotely. 
  4. The aim of the survey was to monitor whether or not the above-mentioned objectives were met.

Target Group

The online training was carried out on university academic staff, administrative and support staff and students 

The survey respondent totaled 3999 participants comprising 434 academic staff, 611 administrative and support staff and 2954 students.

Major Achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic period

During the COVID-19 pandemic period, ICT Center was at the core spearheading activities towards ensuring the University continued to deliver on its mandate of teaching, learning and research virtually.

Some of the virtual key achievements included installation of the Vice-Chancellor, online teaching, learning and examinations, facilitation of data bundles to students ‘Soma na bundles’ and staff, 63rd and 64th graduations, UNSA elections and the Research Week.

Accelerating the digital transformation - Online collaborative tools

The University Senate meetings held on 4th and 8th May 2020 approved teaching, learning and examinations to be conducted via digital platforms (online).

In the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic circumstances, lectures had to be moved online and classes and examinations were conducted virtually. Various forms of technology required to be set up by ICT to enhance and facilitate the student learning experience. The various technology platforms that were approved for use included: Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, Big Blue Button.

ICT played a critical role in the setup of these tools and training staff and students on their utilization.

Microsoft Teams

The university began utilization of Microsoft teams for  virtual learning from May 2020. The product was used successfully during the two University virtual graduations held last year  where graduands participated virtually.

The University of Nairobi research week was also held on Microsoft teams platform where the participants  in the various workshops/seminars/conferences participated from around the globe.   

Other successful activities held on MS teams platforms include office meetings, workshops as well as seminars. ICT Center conducted several training sessions on how to use Ms Teams for both staff and  students in collaboration with a Microsoft partner. A total of 104,786 accounts (Students and staff) have been created within MS Teams and integrated with Google workspace. The accounts are based on the faculty and students office 365 licenses extended to the university through the University of Nairobi Alumni  association.

A survey conducted on users of the platform showed the tool is used across all levels of learning from Diploma to PHD . The usage of microsoft Teams is from all university colleges. The users are able to access the tool using various platforms such as Windows, Android, Mac and IoS.

Zoom Meeting

Zoom was one of the tools that was availed to staff handling large classes at the University.  With Zoom, staff were able to collaborate and host large classes and meeting sessions online through high-quality video and audio, breakout rooms for group activities, the ability to record and download meetings, and more features to facilitate distance learning.

Zoom supported users with devices running on various platforms as shown below. Most of the participants used Android devices to join the virtual meetings.

Google Workspace

The University has an enterprise subscription to Google Workspace which is an integrated suite of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps powered by Google Artificial Intelligence. This includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Meet and more.

ICT Center leveraged on these tools to ensure core business continuity during the pandemic year.

Google Meet

Google Meet is a video communication service developed by Google. ICT trained staff and students on its utilization and the university community were able to host meetings and classes using their browsers. It facilitated them to share videos, entire desktops, and presentations with students and other stakeholders.

Google Classroom

Google classroom was one of the platforms which was set up by the ICT Center to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments of students. It was utilized to streamline the process of sharing files between faculty and students. It integrates Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Calendar into a cohesive platform to manage student and lecturer  communication.

Cisco Webex

This was one of the platforms that was availed to educational institutions as a complimentary at the beginning of the pandemic. ICT Center conducted training to staff and students on its utilization for video conferencing, online meetings, screen share, and webinars. It proved extremely invaluable for lecturers who had large classes and units who hosted webinars.

Big Blue Button Virtual Classroom and video conferencing suite

BigBlueButton is one of the software web conferencing systems that was availed by KENET (Kenya Educational Network) to educational institutions. It was utilized for online teaching and learning.

Further, ICT Center expanded the Local Area Network (LAN) and WIFI within all the campuses, trained staff and students on various online platforms and provided support to users across the University.

Live streaming of the VC addresses and Events

During the entire Covid period, The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, gave various virtual addresses to the University of Nairobi community.

The live addresses were aired live and could be followed through the following channels:

1.         The VC website: https://vc.uonbi.ac.ke/live.

2.         The UoN YouTube channel

3.      The UoN Facebook Channel

Further, the communications team trended the addresses on twitter


All the VC addresses are available on the Vice Chancellors website, as appears on the screenshot below. Follow the VC website on https://vc.uonbi.ac.ke

Upgrade of the Data Center

The University ICT Data Center has undergone a major upgrade transforming it into a Tier 3 Datacenter. A datacenter is a centralized cluster of computing and networking equipment that stores and processes business-critical information for an enterprise in one physical location.

It previously was one huge room which housed mainframe computers which were massive room sized computers that processed and stored enormous amounts of data.

The upgrade was as a result of the University’s ICT infrastructure and resources which have grown tremendously over the last decade to cover all campuses and extra-mural centres.

The university has continued to enhance its ICT infrastructure to meet the growing demand and ensure that information is processed and made accessible to all relevant stakeholders using the most effective means.

 Among the enhancements are, remodeling of the Data Centre into an Educational  Data Centre (EDC) that will not only ensure capacity, availability and security of computing resources, but will also confirm the University of Nairobi’s lead position by creating an EDC that will be a center of excellence in training on Data Centre technologies.

 This is a step forward in achieving a data driven management reforms.

 The datacenter upgrade comes in handy when the world has greatly shifted to technology in almost all fields including research, teaching and learning.

Online teaching, learning and examinations

During the COVID-19 pandemic period, ICT Center facilitated the University to continue to undertake its core mandate of teaching and learning online. To do this, ICT Center

  • Prepared online training schedules for colleges and undertook a very comprehensive online training programme to all University staff and students;
  • Effectively provided online technical support to users during online training programmes;
  • Effectively supported university wide events that depended on ICT technologies such as conferences, events and public lectures e.g. the Ajira Digital Program which was held for the first time in the Kisumu campus and lasted for a whole month; Nairobi Research Week; Annual Engineering Conference; Graduation among others 
  • Trained all staff on the deployment of the new Staff Performance Appraisal System (USPAS) 

Virtual events

Virtual 63rd and 64th Graduation ceremonies

For the first time, the University held graduations online. The 63rd and 64th graduation ceremonies were held virtually on September 25, 2020 & Friday, December 11, 2020, for all qualified graduands for PhDs, Masters, Bachelors, Diplomas and fellowships.

The graduations were streamed live and more than 2800 students followed their graduation online. The graduands were invited to participate in the graduations via Microsoft teams.

The online graduations also presented a platform for the University to collaborate with news rooms for live coverage of the ceremonies.

The events were also



University of Nairobi website


University of Nairobi YouTube channel


University of Nairobi Facebook page


KTN Home

TV station

Standard Group Twitter handles



Switch TV

TV station

Graduands Website profiles

All the profiles of the graduands were captured on the respective school website, with a feature on the corporate website. The PhD profiles highlighted the thesis and the supervisor.

Social media


There was a comprehensive coverage of the event on twitter. The UoN web team trended at number one with the hashtag #uongraduation.


The ICT-Centre successfully offered technical support on the UNSA 2020 virtual election process that took place on18th November, 2020 and followed by a virtual swearing in on 19th November, 2020.

Onboarding Staff and Students to utilize ICT services

With the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of staff were expected to carry on providing services online and the students were also expected to proceed with learning virtually. ICT Center was therefore tasked to come up with systems and means to actualize the above.

Identity and access management was enhanced by creation of AD accounts for all active students and staff to enable them access ICT services. Majority of the staff and students were facilitated with data and/voice bundles to facilitate online teaching and learning.

The number of students who currently have active email accounts has grown tremendously compared to the period before the COVID_19 pandemic outbreak.

Cost Savings on communication

Before the implementation of the Safaricom Postpaid plan in August 2020, the University was spending about Ksh. 1.293M monthly on airtime claims. From August 2020 to January 2021, the University has saved Ksh. 4.589M for the six months compared to the time when staff were claiming refund on airtime.

Virtual Research Week 2020

Research Week is an annual event hosted by the University of Nairobi every year in October and featured 13 different conferences covering a diverse range of academic disciplines.

 Due to COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 the 3rd research week was held virtually on the Microsoft Teams platform from October 12 -16th 2020.

Microsoft Teams provided a platform for the participants to interact virtually. ICT staff were at the forefront in facilitating the process for the online conference proceedings by training staff and presenters on how to use the Microsoft Teams platform and by providing the necessary support during the conference proceedings and the social media team in advertising the events on social media platforms.

The virtual Research Week attracted an impressive 745 paid global participants from academia, government, and industry, 347 presentations, and 40 plus keynote speakers from all over the world. 


 The Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a Digital transformation in many sectors, the University included. Previously, the Performance contracting process was a highly manual process with a lot of paperwork and files for each of the targets in all the departments as well as the evidence.

The ICT Center spearheaded and recommended to the PC secretariat the utilization of shared storage on Google Drive to submit the evidence. The PC secretariat was then able to evaluate the evidence.

This move has enabled the University to save on the cost of printing paper and printer cartridges, as well as improving on efficiency of the human workforce by reduction of manual tasks such as the printing and delivering of manual files to the PC secretariat.

Information Security Management System (ISMS) Institutionalization

The Government of Kenya requires the University of Nairobi to establish an Information Security Management System (ISMS) as per the corporate Performance Contract.

The University achieved this target through the ICT Centre whose mandate it is to guarantee the security of ICT resources and the safety of people working in ICT environments.

ISMS is a set of International policies and procedures for systematically managing the University’s sensitive data. It is based on ISO 27001:2018. The goal of the ISMS is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity by pro-actively limiting the impact of a security breach. 

In 2020, ICT Center achieved the following:

  1. Development of the ICT Risk Policy 
  2. Adoption and operationalization of the ICT Risk Management Framework 
  3. Creation of ICT Risk Registers
  4. Continuous audit and monitoring of University systems to prevent security breaches