Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has defended the rigorous changes he is making in regulations governing higher education, saying they will see universities play a bigger role in research.
In a speech delivered during the graduation ceremony at Kisii University on Friday, Dr Matiang’i said the government intends to ensure universities and other institutions play their role in overall human development.
“Universities are encouraged to use various approaches to further academic research and innovation,” said Dr Matiang’i in the speech read on his behalf by the chairman of the Commission for University Education (CUE), Prof Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha.
“As the Ministry of Education, we are dedicated to providing an enabling environment so that universities can thrive in teaching, research and extension, Dr Matiang’i said.
The Education minister has been implementing rigorous changes where universities have been told to ensure any campus they launch is authorised.
The move saw various universities close down their satellite campuses.
Dr Matiang’i has also issued a notice to universities to comply with certain regulations on quality or else they be shut down and directed all lecturers to have certain qualifications.
At Kisii University where 5,846 students were graduating, the CS also commended the institution for its efforts in promoting e-learning, saying that it is the solution to the shortage of space and infrastructure in many of the country’s institutions of higher learning.
Kisii University will, in the meantime, start searching for a new chancellor to replace Prof Godfrey Muriuki who announced his retirement.
Prof Muriuki said during the university’s fifth graduation ceremony that he has instructed the council and vice chancellor, Prof John Akama, to immediately commence the process of his succession.
The chancellor said that the university has grappled with inadequate financial resources, shortage of qualified staff, lack of essential infrastructure and governance issues since it was awarded a charter five years ago.
“Every effort is being made to ensure that we comply with the commission’s regulations and a vigorous benchmarking exercise has been undertaken to meet them,” said Prof Muriuki.