The government has challenged university chancellors, vice-chancellors and principals to devise ways that can make the institutions sustainable.
Speaking during a stakeholder’s workshop on 28th November 2019 at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum and Development (KICD) to review and validate Universities Regulations 2014 (revised 2019), Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha told the vice-chancellors to face issues soberly by looking at sustainability of universities and programmes, and purposes to which they were established.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha addresses universities’ chancellors, vice-chancellors, principals and other stakeholders during the validation workshop on Amendments to Universities Regulations 2014(Revised 2019) at KICD. Looking on is the Commission Secretary and CEO Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi (second right).
“Each and every university present here today should think of establishing the quality of degree programmes they offer rather than the number of degrees they have. It is also not about the number of graduates you are producing but the quality,” Prof. Magoha told over 70 universities’ representatives and other stakeholders gathering at KICD on 28th November 2019.
The CS also told the Commission for University Education (CUE) to exercise its authority without fear by setting standards and monitoring compliance not only for sustainable quality university education but for global competitiveness.
“As CUE, you have powers and I have also empowered you to do what appertains to your mandate. I expect all to cooperate,” Prof. Magoha said.
The new University Regulations Amendments 2019 being revised with stakeholders to streamline and eliminate the gaps and ambiguities in the Universities Act 2012.
While making her remarks, the Chief Administrative Secretary and Principal SecretaryState Department for University Education and Research, Prof. Collete Suda also underscored the significance of the validation workshop.
Prof. Suda said the Universities Act, 2012 had undergone several revisions and the workshop would serve to align the Regulations, 2014 to the Act 2012(2019) and other policy documents.
The CAS/PS also called upon universities to cease teaching certificate and diploma courses and concentrate on their core business of teaching degree courses.
“Much as I understand why you are doing this, it really creates articifical competition with tertiary colleges and this does not profit the country in any way,” Prof. Suda said amidst laughter from the stakeholders.
The Commission for University Education Chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti- Chacha emphasized that the regulations were created within the law and consequently provides a roadmap to operationalize the Universities Act.
The Chairman further noted that the amendments had gone through an inclusive process where CUE interacted with stakehodlers who consume the products of university education.
Upon validation, the regulations would be gazetted by the Education Cabinet Secretary after which, Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014 would be revised and aligned to the Universities Regulations. Both instruments will be used to maintain quality in Universities.
The Commission Secretary and CEO Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi gave highlights on Amendments made to the University Regulations 2014(Revised 2019 noting that the new regulations seek to address the gaps after the amendments to the Universities Act, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Once finalised, the policy document will be recommended to the Education CS for gazettement.
The Summary of the Revised Universities Regulations, 2014 are as follows:
12A: Governance and Management of a University
13A: Winding up of a University
14A: Mergers and Acquisitions
15A: Withdrawal of a Sponsor
17: Institutionalization of Quality Assurance
18A: Promotion of quality teaching research, innovation and community outreach
51: Accreditation/Approval of Certificate and Diploma Programmes
60: Approval of Collaboration
82A: University Information System
During the discussions on the amendments to the Universities Regulations (2019), stakeholders freely deliberated on the amendments seeking clarification of the impact towards academic freedom of universities. Among the thorny issues that delayed the finalisation of the document were:
1. Restructuring of universities
While challenging the newly established universities, specifically those with satellite campuses all over the country to justify their existence, Prof. Magoha maintained that each university must demonstrate that it is sustainable as part of safeguarding the quality of learning as well as impacting on the economic development of the country which is in line with the Big Four initiative.
“If your institution must exist, then justify the unique academic programmes you are offering and provide evidence of current staffing levels to support the same,” Prof. Magoha advised university vice-chancellors and principals.
Stakeholders during the validation workshop on Amendments to Universities regulations, 2014(Revised 2019) at KICD on 28th November 2019.
Universities were also urged to work with professional bodies and look into ways in which tuition fees charged can be increased to cater for the current economic times and inflation rates..
The Education CS also advised universities to build niches and strive towards becoming a centres of excellence in specific areas and start implementating the same in their respective institutions.
He added that the academic programmes should be geared towards promoting the Big Four Agenda.
The meeting was closed by Chief Administrative Secretary and Principal Secretary State Department for University Education and Research Prof. Prof. Collette A. Suda.
From left, Commission chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha, Education CS Prof. George Magoha and Education CAS/PS Prof. Collete Suda listen to proceedings during the stakeholders’ validation workshop on amendments to Universities Regulations 2014(Revised 2019).
The Commission will meet the stakeholders in January 2020 to finalize the policy document before recommending it to the Education Cabinet Secretary for Gazettement.
Prof. Collete Suda, CAS/PS University Education and Research responds to stakeholders questions during the validation workshop on University Regulations (2019) at KICD, Nairobi.