Varsities warned over ‘needless’ expansion - Daily Nation

Varsities warned over ‘needless’ expansion

Tuesday August 18 2015

Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi addresses journalists at a past event. He has warned universities against hurried and unnecessary expansion. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi addresses journalists at a past event. He has warned universities against hurried and unnecessary expansion. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi has warned universities against hurried and unnecessary expansion.

He said the rush to expand tends to compromise the quality of education offered by the institutions.

Prof Kaimenyi said many universities were doing so due to pressure from local politicians, a situation he said is unacceptable.

He urged administrators of the institutions not to bow to such pressure.

He spoke at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi during a meeting with officials from various universities and other stakeholders in higher education.

Prof Kaimenyi said despite the Constitution requiring that each county should have a university, setting up of the institutions would be guided by laid-down procedures and available manpower.

“Yes, the Constitution requires us to have universities in each county but the challenge is the manpower required to provide high quality education in those institutions,” he added.

The CS said his ministry had halted the conversion of technical training colleges to universities to allow the training of technicians.

Speakers at the event had raised concern over hurried expansion that was not matched with staff development.

“New universities that were given charters in 2013 have the problem of ethnicity. You find that the chancellor, vice-chancellor and chairman come from the local community. This is not good for the education sector,” said Prof Kaimenyi.

He said the ministry was working on a policy that would ensure that all senior management positions in universities represent the face of Kenya.

The minister asked university councils to ensure that women are given priority in management as stipulated by the Constitution.

He urged the councils to take charge of their institutions and avoid situations where senior managers engage in smear campaigns in the media.