Matiang’i warns of major shake-up in higher education sector

The Government is set to inspect all university institutions that are currently operating under Letters of Interim Authority, the Cabinet Secretary for education, Dr. Fred Matiang’i has said.

Dr. Matiang’i said the initiative is part of the reforms that the government is taking to safeguard the quality of higher education that Kenyan children are entitled to.

Speaking at during The 31st AMREF Health Africa Graduation in Nairobi Monday,  CS Matiang’i said that some Universities were operating under Letters of Interim Authority beyond the rules and regulations governing accreditation.

The Cabinet Secretary said he had encountered several private universities that have been struggling to survive as a result of governance weaknesses and mismanagement of resources, including financial and human resources.

“While this unfortunate state of affairs was one to reckon with in the public universities, it is disheartening to observe that the private universities have equally joined the wagon,” Dr. Matiang’i noted.

He said some of universities have had their campuses earmarked for closure while others have, on their own accord, downsized as a sustainability measure.

He said he had also called for investigations in specific universities in order to establish their viability and potential to support the objects of university education in Kenya.

“I guarantee you that you will soon be witnessing the revocation of accreditation status and rationalization of the existence of some of these universities,” Dr. Matiang’i noted.

He said Kenya’s flag on education was respected internationally noting that the government could not allow the reputation compromised by mismanagement of higher education at home.

“The government insists on the provision of quality education under the framework of the statutory provisions issued by the Commission for University Education (CUE),” Dr. Matiang’i noted.

He said students should be allowed to review the performance of lecturers noting that the feedback from students could be the basis of extending or terminating the tenure of lecturers.

He said education systems in some countries had incorporated this in their governance system and greatly improved the quality of higher education in their countries.

The CS said this will address the problem of missing marks, and situations where students were not taught by some lecturers.

Dr. Matiang’i expressed concern that financing of Universities based on the programmes and student body under the Differentiated Unit Cost(DUC) would help to maintain quality of education institutions offer to students.

The CS later issued a Letter of Interim Authority to the Amref International University (AMIU) as the successor to the Amref International Training Center (AITC).

“As you join the other 73 universities in the provision of university education in Kenya, I call on you to safeguard quality,” Dr. Matiang’i said.

  

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