President Kibaki Friday awarded new charters to the seven public universities following enactment of a new law establishing institutions of higher learning.
The Universities Act, 2012, revoked the former charters of the older universities — Nairobi, Moi, Kenyatta, Maseno, Masinde Muliro, Egerton and Jomo Kenyatta at a ceremony organised by the Ministry of Higher Education and Commission for University Education and presided over by the President.
Their chancellors were then presented with the new charters.
President Kibaki praised the universities for “nurturing and mentoring” constituent colleges that now had charters to operate independently.
In the last two months, President Kibaki has elevated 15 colleges to full universities, bringing to 22 the number public universities.
Challenging the institutions to offer courses that would help achieve Vision 2030, the President said: “I call upon the universities to develop programmes that will equip graduates with relevant skills and knowledge to participate in nation building.”
President Kibaki also presented charters to five recently elevated universities — Multi Media University, South Eastern Kenya University, University of Kabainga, Karatina University and Meru University of Science and Technology — and two private ones, KCA and Adventist University of Africa.
Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar said the increase in the number of universities would allow more students access to higher education.
“This will give our children more chances to study up to university level,” the minister said.
The University Act was among the last pieces of legislation passed by Parliament.
Prof Kamar said the Act would guard against sub-standard courses as it established “necessary institutions that will help in ensuring provision of quality and relevant programmes.