Universities accused of introducing courses to make money - Daily Nation

Universities accused of introducing unnecessary courses to make money

Monday August 22 2016

Fred Matiang'i, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, speaks at Kenyatta University during the first biennial conference on the state of higher education on August 22, 2016. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Fred Matiang'i, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, speaks at Kenyatta University during the first biennial conference on the state of higher education on August 22, 2016. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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Universities have been accused of introducing unnecessary courses to make money.

On Monday, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i reiterated the ban on the opening of satellite campuses as he moved to contain unnecessary expansion among universities.

A report by the university education regulator indicated that the institutions had adopted a new way to make money by mounting courses that are not market-driven.

“This calls for continuous review of the programmes offered to ensure alignment to the current and future market demands,” said the report.

It revealed that public and private universities had prioritised programmes in business administration, humanities and arts.

“...too much concentration in arts at the expense of science-oriented programmes is likely to disadvantage some key national development sectors which require more practical skills,” added the report.

Dr Matiang’i also cautioned politicians against pushing for re-opening of satellite campuses that were closed down by the Commission for University Education (CUE) early this year saying they must abide by the regulations.

INCREASING CONCERNS

Speaking on Monday during the first biennial conference on the state of higher education in Kenya at Kenyatta University, Dr Matiang’i said there were increasing concerns by employers and the private sector on the mismatch between the quality of education being provided by the institutions and the needs of the increasingly dynamic labour market.

“The capacity of CUE will be enhanced and a review of its legislation will not only give it more regulatory power but enhance its institutional ability to do capacity building to strengthen university management and leadership, through a much more robust university leaders and managers programme,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He directed the commission to launch a more vigorous review and regulation of institutions of higher learning, including conducting regular enrolment and programme audits.

“It is expected that through its regulatory ranking of Kenyan institutions of higher learning, CUE, in conjunction with the NCIC (National Cohesion and Integration Commission), will develop an index to check the disturbing ethnicisation of institutions of higher learning,” he said.

He called on university leadership to end unnecessary conflicts saying the ministry was receiving very many complaints daily.

“We have cases where vice chancellors, their deputies and university council chairmen are working towards each other’s downfall,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He disclosed that he was in talks with Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu in order to resolve a row between the Kenya Medical Training College and Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service on admission of students.

A Bill for the establishment of the National Open University of Kenya has been approved by Cabinet, he said. “Upon enactment by Parliament, this legislation will enhance increased participation in higher education at an affordable rate for many Kenyans who otherwise may not afford the time and cost of higher education in the regular, traditionally institutionalised form,” he said.