Universities urged to manage resources prudently

Public University Councils have been urged to make prudent decisions that would enable campus education reclaim its former glory.

The Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Dr. Fred Matiang’i says several wrong administrative decisions had been made in the past during which universities scampered for every available space to establish satellite campuses, in the process diluting the quality of university education.

He said the education sector in the country had been severely compromised by corrupting examination systems thereby giving distorted examination results.

As a result, universities went out of their way to create campuses to absorb the abnormally high number of qualified students in the country.

The CS was speaking at Egerton University in Nakuru County on Thursday, where he presided over ground breaking ceremony for a multi-billion Library set to be constructed at the facility.

Matiang’i noted that sobriety was slowly returning to the education sector and its impact would be felt far and wide noting that already, several universities were closing satellite campuses in the wake of dwindling student numbers.

He said it did not make economic sense for a university to establish a satellite campus in Kigali-Rwanda or Tanzania while the same institution cannot afford to pay its part time lecturers.

The CS said he was committed in ensuring that Kenyan universities offered quality education that would enable the country’s institutions of higher learning to cut a niche in the global market.

He noted that university entry requirements had been grossly abused where the minimum entry points were being lowered to suit anyone interested in enrolling for a degree course.

Matiang’i expressed concern over the high levels of corruption, ineptitude, nepotism, financial impropriety and interference in management at institutions of higher learning, adding that the trend must be brought to an end.

The CS called on university administrators to work towards reasonable investment decisions that would enable the institutions put available resources towards improving infrastructure.

Matiang’i, who is a former Egerton University lecturer, urged universities to improve the social welfare of their students, saying that it was unfair to expose them to the same standards they went through in secondary schools.

In view of this, the Commission for University Education (CUE) will henceforth include student welfare matters such as quality of accommodation and dining facilities in the index for ranking of universities.

He challenged the Egerton University Council to source for ways of completing two building projects that had remained incomplete for almost twenty years saying that the image did not augur well for the institution.

He undertook to ensure that the government funded the library complex to the tune of Shs.2 billion with support from the French Development Fund which, he said has been incorporated by the government to help finance infrastructure development in public universities.

The construction was expected to commence immediately and would be undertaken by Vaghiyani Construction Company in the next three years.

Source: Kenya News Agency