Investigation Into The Impact Of Public Relations In Achieving Social Cohesion In Public Universities
Njuguna, Serah Wambui
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Majority of the public universities in Kenya, draw their students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds thus they are rich in diversity. However, the peace and tranquility at most of the university and other public institutions of higher learning has been elusive because of the social cohesion related problems. There is great need for enhancing social cohesion in the Kenyan universities to avert this situation. PR is a key strategy that the public institution management would benefit from to achieve social cohesion among its diverse population. The study used a descriptive survey research design. The target population were the students and staff of the University of Nairobi. Stratified sampling technique was used to select the sample. The study sample consisted of 120 students and twenty key informants. The primary data collection instrument was a questionnaire. From the findings, the study concluded that the PR strategies adopted by the university to create social cohesion were not effective. The most significant PR strategies used to create social cohesion were; campus-wide presentations seminars, resource centers and campus informational fairs on social cohesion respectively. The university management was not fully committed to enhancing social cohesion. The university management only applied the use of PR during crisis. The study recommends that the university management should review the policies and. strategies on the implementation of PR programmes and incorporate them as an integral part of the university policies. The study recommends that the university management should address the bottlenecks hindering the implementation of PR programmes by adopting a hybrid approach of PR strategies and r tools to revitalize PR functibn on social cohesion. The study also recommends that the university management should offer continuous training to the staff on use of PR in enhancing social cohesion to keep them up-to date with modem PR skills. At the same time advocacy forums should be enhanced on social cohesion in the university to encourage interaction and conversations on topics concerned with diversity and difference, such as political and social 'views, racism and discrimination, women’s rights, and national politics.