Deputy President has asked universities to review their decision to offer diploma and certificate courses.
He said such courses should be left to Technical and Vocational Education and Training and other middle-level colleges.
Instead, he said universities should concentrate on offering degree courses.
“They should also be more focused on research,” he explained.
He spoke on Monday during the opening of Ulwazi training facility at the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) in Kitsuru, Nairobi County.
Dr Ruto said it was unfortunate that only 11 per cent of doctorate students completed their studies in time when there was paucity for researchers in the country.
He called on universities to invest more of their resources in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programmes, arguing that there was an urgent need for evidence-based research to spur Kenya’s economic growth.
The Deputy President lauded APHRC’s approach, which emphasises “African research on African issues to drive African decision-making.”
“This is one way of finding practical solutions that address health, population and other development challenges affecting our continent.”
At the same time, Dr Ruto appealed to the private sector to join forces with Government in funding research in the country, saying that responsibility should not be left to the Government alone.
“With competing priorities for public sector funding, it is imperative that private sector players join hands with the Government and invest in research institutions that will catalyse Africa’s development.”
Dr Ruto said the Government had committed to allocate two per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product to research.
Prof James Ole Kiyiapi, a member of the APHRC, called for the centralisation of cancer research, a move he said would pool resources to fast-track findings that would lead to solutions to Africa’s problems.
“For this to succeed, we must leverage these efforts and expertise from universities civil societies and research institutions in exactly the same way we did HIV/AIDS.”
APHRC Executive Director Catherine Kyobutungi said organization has encouraged universities to increase research on areas that would benefit the society as opposed to academic oriented research.