The government on Tuesday suspended the setting up of satellite campuses by public universities, as it moved to rein in unplanned expansion.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i also suspended borrowing by public universities, saying most of them were accumulating bad debts they could not repay.
Several universities have been on a spree to acquire buildings in Nairobi, costing billions of shillings.
Speaking during the launch of the Engineering Departments' Baseline Survey in Nairobi, Dr Matiang’i said the decision had been arrived to protect the integrity of higher education as well as to stop the exploitation of students.
The Cabinet secretary directed the Commission for University Education not to approve any satellite campus unless it is properly justified.
“We cannot allow this madness to continue in the education sector. We must put a stop to it,” he said.
Mr Matiang'i regretted that universities that were set up with core mandates had abandoned them and were instead introducing new courses to make money.
“What is the rationale behind 26 universities having satellite campuses in Nakuru or Nairobi and both offering training in MBAs? We cannot allow this to continue,” said Dr Matiang’i.
He also expressed concerns about the minimum entry grades for universities, saying that some of the institutions had ignored the guidelines.
“We have students in universities pursuing degrees yet they did not qualify to pursue those degrees,” said the Cabinet secretary.