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We are committed to quality varsity education – Matiangi

Matiangi however pointed out a number of concerns that needed to be addressed to streamline university education with increasing number of universities and student population/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – The Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring that the quality of education in institutions of higher learning is enhanced.

According to Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi, the ministry is keen on following up on the objectives of university education outlined under Sessional Paper, No. 14 of 2012, whose target is to ensure centers of learning provide the knowledge in tandem with the country’s development needs.

“Over the last five years, Kenya has undergone reforms targeted at aligning university education with the Constitution of Kenya, 2010; enhancing global competitiveness and relevance; and addressing educational and development dynamics,” he remarked.

Addressing a Chancellors’ Convention in Nairobi on Wednesday, Matiang’i noted that expanding access to education, promoting equity, improving quality and relevance of education, better financing as well as enhancing human resource in universities, remained key in ensuring varsities support the county’s development agenda.

He pointed out that development of policies to guide the running of universities in the country will go a long way in driving positive change in the education sector.

Among laws put in place to safeguard the quality of education in the country are; Universities Act of 2012 and the subsequent 2016 amendment. Further, the coming into force of the Kenya Qualifications Framework Act of 2014 secured the gains made towards promoting university education.

Matiangi however pointed out a number of concerns that needed to be addressed to streamline university education with increasing number of universities and student population.

“Data reveals that in the last ten years, the number of universities in Kenya has tripled, from nineteen to sixty nine universities,” he observed adding that care needed to be taken to ensure Kenyans get quality education.

“Why should we be receiving reports of admissions of unqualified students to the academic programmes of the universities?” he posed.

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The Cabinet Secretary urged public institutions to work closely with private institutions and avoid unnecessary competition which breeds bad blood, in order to compliment the country’s development agenda.

The public-private partnership is expected to provide a level playing field with the introduction of the placement of government-sponsored students in private universities, by ensuring that universities get adequate funding for the programmes they offer.

“It is also projected that, in the next financial year, the Differentiated Unit Cost (DCI), which focuses on funding different programmes, according to actual costs of implementing the programmes, shall be implemented as a further support to the funding of university education in Kenya,” he said urging universities provide intra university credit transfer options for students to make the process of transferring from a university to another seamless.

Once the DCI mechanism is implemented, universities will receive disbursements from the government based on the cost of the courses they offer as opposed to general allocations based on requests made by universities.

The convention which draws university managers ranging from Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors and Council Chairpersons from public and private universities is expected to generate a comprehensive policy framework for the development of higher education in the country.

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