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Public Universities facing financial crisis

The decision by the government that saw the scrapping of the parallel module in public universities has subjected the institutions of higher learning to a financial crisis.
Vice-chancellors from various public universities in the country have said the decision had also strained service delivery at the institutions forcing them to seek for new sources of revenue generation.
The VCs are now calling for urgent measures to address the current financial crisis in addition to resolving an acute shortage of staff and low student intakes at the institutions.
This revelation emerged during a two-day University leaders’ training workshop held at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge and attended by nearly all the Vice-Chancellors in the country.
Addressing the press Vice-Chancellor Karatina University Professor Mucai Muchiri lamented that all the 74 public universities had the capacity to enroll a total of 160,000 students but added that only 90,000 would be admitted in 2019 as many of the students had failed to meet the cut-off points.
Professor Muchiri noted that due to the low admissions, the universities are now facing financial crisis.
The professor at the same time regretted that the number of students seeking agricultural and natural resources courses was on the decline which he said spelt doom for the country’s plan on food security and the Big Four Agenda.
He said most of the students were now opting for high flying courses including medicine and engineering.
“In two years we shall have a crisis in universities with the staff who have been training these courses facing possible lay-offs due to lack of students,” he said.
The CEO Commission for University Education Professor Mwenda Ntarangwi attributed the drop in the number of students enrolling at the universities to stringent KCSE marking saying this had led to the drop in university intake.
He said in the past the government used to fund universities but with the increase in the number of universities, it has been hard to sustain them financially leading to the current financial crisis.
The Director of Universities Darious Mogaka admitted that the financial crisis was real in the universities which he said has now forced many of the universities to seek for alternative sources of revenue.
By Esther Mwangi/Hannah Wangui

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