Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has challenged institutions of higher learning to have income-generating activities to bail them out during difficult financial times.
Speaking during the opening of Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre at Mt Kenya University Main Campus in Thika town, Dr Matiang’i said universities must learn to exploit resources from within to generate its own revenues.
The CS said complimenting income flows through revenue generation would reduce over-reliance on government lending and getting into debts.
“We challenge institutions of higher learning to endeavour to be more of producers, than consumers. This was started by former President Mwai Kibaki and is the only way universities can survive during the harsh economic times,” he said.
This comes as local universities are facing deep financial crisis, with most of them being forced to increase fees or calling for government to bail them out.
Moi University for example, has sent its students home after its staff downed their tools protesting over unpaid salaries. The university administration has since claimed that it cannot meet its financial obligations because it’s broke.
They said they have been compelled to increase fees for its students in order to clear its debts and pay staff members.
Kenyatta University (KU) on the other hand has sunk into a Sh1.3 billion deficit and is operating under financial difficulties.
The CS at the same time announced government’s commitment to continue supporting institutions of higher learning, by giving them an enabling environment that supports students to enroll in both private and public universities.
He cited the Higher Education Loans saying the government will continue issuing the funds to students in both public and private institutions.
“We shall continue supporting all universities in whatever way, especially by giving students across board HELB to enable them complete their education because all the graduates have a right to equal support by the government because they will serve the country upon graduation,” said Dr. Matiangi.
He lauded the University for the milestones that it has achieved over its 10 years since it was established, saying during the short stint, it has been feted locally and globally.
“It is gratifying to note the growth attained within those 10 years. To date, Mount Kenya University has over 40,000 government and self-sponsored students across its campuses with a graduation output of over 10,000 students annually,” he said.
On the insecurity incidences that the University has been facing, the CS ordered for establishment of a police post inside the university to address the issue.
By Muoki Charles