Students at 12 university campuses that were facing closure for failing to adhere to regulations and standards got a reprieve Wednesday after the regulator and Education ministry agreed to give their institutions 12 months to comply.
However, the Commission for University Education (CUE) gave the universities 14 days to develop a 12-month road map to address the shortfalls.
The issues to be addressed include recruitment and retention of quality lecturers, development of facilities and library resources.
Also within the 12 months, the affected universities are required to come up with a plan to merge or close some of their campuses and transfer students to accredited ones.
Those affected inlcude Kisii University’s 10 campuses in Eldoret, Eldama Ravine, Nyamira, Kabarnet, Migori, Ogembo, Keroka, Kehancha, Kapenguria and Isebania, Laikipia University’s Nyahururu campus and Kabarak University’s Nairobi campus.
CUE had given the universities 90 days to close the campuses.
It emerged in a meeting Wednesday that Kisii University, for instance, was expanding at an alarming rate and its campuses had inadequate lecturers.
In some instances, the teaching staff had no letters of appointment while part-time staff had questionable qualifications.
The meeting was attended by Higher Education Principal Secretary Collete Suda, CUE chairman Henry Thairu and Chief Executive David Some.
Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the governing councils of the universities will be required to submit quarterly reports to his ministry detailing progress made in addressing the challenges.
“The CUE will conduct a comprehensive compliance inspection in February next year. Universities should also take immediate action to address governance gaps in their organs,” said Dr Matiang’i.
He also appointed a three-member committee to be chaired by former University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof Crispus Kiamba to work with the commission and ministry in ensuring that the changes are implemented.
Dr Matiang'i said the government will hold university authorities accountable for activities that compromise the quality of education.
“We will hold them to the highest standards and demand compliance with the law and established regulations without exception,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
“The ministry is alive to the increasing demands for university education. We will, therefore, do all in our power to facilitate access for the sake of equity and to provide opportunities across the country,” Dr Matiang’i added.
During an inspection by CUE last year, a number of campuses that include Jaramogi Oginda Odinga University of Science and Technology in Kisumu, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Nakuru, Kisii University campuses in Kisumu, Kericho and Kitale, Laikipia University campuses in Nakuru, Eldoret and Naivasha, Moi University campuses in Kitale and Odera Akang’o, University of Eastern Africa- Baraton in Eldoret campus, University of Eldoret in Eldoret town and University of Kibianga’s Kaptatet campus were put under further review.
Eight were given a clean bill of health and accredited. These are Mount Kenya University’s four campuses in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret and Kitale. Others are Kenyatta University Kericho campus, Catholic University of East Africa in Eldoret, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Kisii campus and St Paul University’s Nakuru campus.