Experts converge in Nairobi on status of university education - Daily Nation

Experts converge in Nairobi on status of university education

Sunday August 21 2016

Education experts will on August 22, 2016 converge at Kenyatta University for a first conference on status of education in the country. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Education experts will on August 22, 2016 converge at Kenyatta University for a first conference on status of education in the country. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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Education experts will on Monday converge at Kenyatta University for a first conference on status of education in the country.

The conference, which brings together experts in universities, technical training institutions, research organisations and development agencies, will see the launch of the first ever University status report by Education CS Fred Matiang’i.

Several international speakers are set to address the conference.

Some of the issues set to be discussed include financing University education which has remained a thorny issue for long, quality of university education and contribution of universities to national development.

Other issues are aging and stretched physical and human resources, governance and leadership, cross border learning and teaching and relevance and employability of graduates.

The four-day conference has been organized by Commission for University Education (CUE) in collaboration with universities and research institutions.

CUE Chief executive officer David Some, said the conference offers a chance to critically examine issues in higher education, including the quality of learning, funding models, recruitment of students, research outputs and innovation.

Among the speakers at the forum will be Inter-university Council of East Africa Executive Secretary Alexander Lyambabaje who will look at Higher Education in East Africa: Creating an Educational Hub.

Mr John Wood, Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities will speak on envisioning a 21st Century University: The Global Perspective.

The conference comes at a time when higher education is at a crossroads due to declining quality and standards arising from unplanned expansion, inadequate teaching and learning resources, shortage of faculty and reduced funding.

Universities have expanded phenomenally in the past two decades to meet the demand of increased numbers of qualifiers seeking higher education.

However, the government has since suspended establishment of more satellite campuses by public universities to guard on quality.

On Wednesday, chancellors during a meeting with Dr Matiang’i warned that there was a threat to quality and relevance of university education due to a shortage of lecturers many of whom were not engaged in research.

The chancellors said there was a feeling between various public universities that the exchequer funding was not being shared equitably.

Currently, there are 70 public and private universities in the country. However, the growth has not been matched with resources.

On Tuesday, while meeting vice-chancellors and principals of colleges, President Uhuru Kenyatta challenged public universities to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of public resources.