Only five out of 33 public universities that have complied with law on national cohesion, National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Francis ole Kaparo has revealed.
Mr Kaparo said ethnicity in universities was so pervasive that it may warrant special legislation to address it.
The NCIC boss was speaking at State House, Nairobi, on Tuesday during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, vice chancellors and chairmen of university councils of both public and private universities.
He blamed public universities and colleges for promoting ethnicity, saying that appointment of staff is pegged on ethnicity.
“Public universities and colleges must come up with a program that will provide equal opportunities to Kenyans regardless of tribe, religion or race, in order to entrench national unity and integration,” said Mr Kaparo.
He went on: “Most public universities have violated the Constitution by basing employment of staff based on ethnicity. This must stop. Public institutions cannot be allowed to breed tribalism,” said Mr Kaparo.
President Kenyatta asked institutions of higher learning to play a leading role in entrenching national unity and integration.
“You must help us achieve the agenda of national unity. You are the people to set up that agenda,” said the President.
Mr Kenyatta said the proposed course on national unity and integration should be made compulsory.
“Every student must take the course to enhance nationalism, integration and patriotism,” said President Kenyatta.
He urged the university administrators not to allow political pressure to prevail during staff recruitment.
Mr Kaparo expressed the need for the Ministry of Education to devise a ranking system to reward universities that abide by the law on national cohesion and integration.
Moi University, University of Eldoret and Maasai Mara University are some of the higher learning institutions that have been hit by ethnicity with residents demanding that they must be heading by locals.
Maasai Mara University deputy vice-chancellor in charge of administration, finance and planning Simon Ole Seno last week appeared before the NCIC to answer queries on incitement at the institution.
Prof Seno has been accused of incitement against the leadership of the institution and other members of staff who are not from the Maasai community.