SURVEY OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS PERCEPTION OF LEADERSHIP, GOVERNANCE AND INTEGRITY IN UNIVERSITIES IN KENYA
Alari, Jacklyne Okello
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When the New Constitution was promulgated in 2010, the hope among Kenyans was that it would promote integrity, responsibility and accountability among State and public officers, and especially leaders at all levels. Despite the provisions of the Constitution on leadership, the number of questionable leaders seems to be on the rise. Kenya like many other African states is at a point the citizens are feeling the effects of unethical practices like, corruption at various levels, abuse of office, murder, theft and misuse of public resources among others. It seems as though the moral fabric of society is not only torn but rather nonexistent. At such times we are forced to ask retrogressively though, what is the values of our education system? Education is meant to be transformative in nature. Often, those who engage in unethical practices in society are not the least educated, or uneducated. They are people with the best education, no wonder they employ the best tactics in siphoning and finding sophisticated means to hide the vice. The paper was guided by the following research questions: What is the undergraduate student understanding of leadership, governance and integrity? Does the university leadership impart values in students by their way of operation? Does the student experience at university model them towards being ethical leaders, good governors and persons of integrity? The core mandate of universities is not only to teach, conduct research and community service but also to impart sound social and moral values on the students. It is paramount to note that developing young leaders is an investment for the future. Helping students develop as ethical leaders involves more than just helping them acquire skills. It is a process that involves helping them develop their leadership identity, practice the process of leadership, and advance their intellectual and skill development. Mixed research methods were used. A survey was conducted using digital questionnaire with both open ended and closed ended questions to collect data. Quantitative data collection and analysis was done using the digital google forms application while qualitative data analysis was summarized, themes generated and a narration developed that was integrated in the write up of the paper to enrich the quantitative findings. The findings indicate that majority of respondents have a good understanding of leadership, governance and integrity. Although the findings revealed that for a vast majority of respondents the university experience is modelling them to persons of integrity. A good number of respondents had concerns on leadership and integrity in the University. The researcher recommends that universities to consider anchoring and laying emphasis on key aspects of ethical leadership, good governance and integrity in the curriculum as they train students. They are to uphold and maintain best quality practices in their service delivery. This is because sustainable development is not only anchored on academic excellence but also on ethical values and the society's moral development.