Restriction on set up of new varsities to help improve sector

Suspension on the establishment of new university campuses will last for three years, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said.

Dr Matiang’i further warned that the government will not hesitate to close down under performing campuses.

Addressing a World Bank forum on education recently, the CS said the government has undertaken policy measures that target to improve quality of university education.

EXPANSION
He said the number of universities doubled from 35 in 2012 to 70 last year and the number of students enrolled in universities increased from 361,379 in 2012 to 564,507 last year.

“Unscientific expansion of universities in Kenya has led to: large ineffective class sizes and student and staff ratio; inadequacy of appropriate academic staff,” Dr Matiang’i said.

He added that overcrowding of lecture halls; lack of adequate and appropriate teaching equipment; and insufficient investment in research and innovation have remained a challenge in the sector.

“In particular, the large class sizes, which mainly result from the need to maximize on limited finances and the lack of adequate number of academic staff in the universities, disadvantage the learning process of students raising the  fundamental issue of quality,” observed Dr Matiang’i.

AUDIT REPORT
According to the Commission for University Education, the closing down of university campuses across the country could be as a result of an audit that was carried out early this year.

Commission for University Education chairman Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha said the institutions should use the recommendations of the audit to put their houses in order.

“Our focus remains having quality university education in the country,” Prof Chacha said.

An audit report prepared by the commission revealed massive malpractices in public and private universities, which had contributed to low quality standards of education.

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