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Public universities rush to join eCitizen

Over 1,000 services offered by public universities will be available soon on the eCitizen portal as the institutions rush to beat the deadline to migrate to the government online gateway.

Vice Chancellors and other senior administrators from 47 public universities are meeting in Athi River to finalise the onboarding of admission procedures and other essential services in line with a Presidential directive.

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Immigration and Citizen Services PS Prof Julius Bitok who officially opened the onboarding retreat at the PrideInn hotel in Mlolongo urged the administrators to comply with the directive that is intended to boost convenient access to government services and raise collection of the relevant revenue.

“We have crossed the Rubicon on this and going digital is no longer an option. It is a non-negotiable minimum that all public universities are required to comply with and for very good reasons because digitalisation is a legacy target of the government.”

Among the benefits he listed that the universities stand to enjoy by going digital is being able to track online and in real-time their revenues collected from students’ payments and other services offered by the institutions.

He said the digitisation drive will be linked to the launch of the smart/digital ID and the Unique Personal Identifier number that are set to be launched later this year as the government also seeks to make it harder to forge Kenyan registration documents to comply with international travel requirements.

Over 5,127 government services are currently available on eCitizen and an almost similar number is targeted for online end-to-end availability by December.

President William Ruto gave all public institutions, including universities, an end-of-year deadline to digitise their services.

Besides cutting the cost of time and money for clients seeking government services, the campaign is also expected to minimise corruption and pilferage believed to cost the government millions of shillings in lost revenue.

Vice Chancellors who spoke at the forum appealed to the government to provide free and reliable internet to public institutions to make it easier and affordable for the university community to enjoy online services.

They also sought assurances that universities will be able to access on-time monies intended for day-to-day operations and other recurrent expenses.

Availing their services online is especially critical for the universities who are expecting the latest batch of new students from next month.

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