Kenyatta University has announced the closure of its two satellite campuses located in Kigali, Rwanda and Arusha in Tanzania following a government directive in year 2017 that ordered closure of public universities outside Kenya.
The announcement was made during the university’s 44th graduation ceremony where 5,039 graduands were conferred with PHD, masters, degrees and diplomas and which was also attended by the university vice chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina and Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro who is a former KU student.
Chairman of Council Kenyatta University Prof Shem E Migot Adholla said that the closure of the campuses was informed by consolidation of resources, reduced number of self-sponsored students and a need to sustain Kenyan campuses.
He acknowledged that universities were facing enormous challenges especially brought about by financial constraints following enrollment of low students triggering reduced revenues.
However, Adholla stated that the university has endevoured to rationalizing its income generating activities, introduction of new diploma programs; refocus on research market to improve credibility, revitalizing its digital learning program to attract more students.
Both public and private Kenyan universities especially from parallel programs have been facing tough times after enrollment of students significantly reduced.
Some universities have been grappling to register more students into certificate and diploma courses after remaining afloat.
Reduction of students enrolling for university programs was occasioned by stringent measures set out by the ministry of education in monitoring Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) exams.
In year 2017 for instance, out of the 615,773 candidates who sat KCSE, only 70,000 made the cut-off grade of C plus to join Kenyan universities.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is among other 19 universities that were ordered to close down their campuses by Tanzania Commission for University (TCU).
The ceremony’s key note speaker who is the chief executive officer for Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International Dr Florence Wambugu emphasized on the need for graduands to tap the opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Wambugu asserted that with inception of devolution, many opportunities have been left untapped at in the rural areas urging granduands to embrace self-employment.
“Unlike what many young students and graduates belief, there are huge opportunities in agriculture which are yet to be explored. Luckily it is one of the President’s Big 4 agenda pillars,” she said.
She insisted that science innovation was the way to go for Kenya, urging young scholars to utilize what they have acquired, embrace changes, refrain from settling for comfort zones and use mentors to develop the world.
Chief administrative secretary in charge of the ministry of education Collete Suda said that Kenya was committed to ensuring its education system remains competitive in the global arena and also well aligned to achievement of the Big Four Agenda.
She said that the ministry of education was working in collaboration with key stakeholders to turn Kenyan universities to centres of research.
“I also urge all universities to be effective in mainstreaming the big four agenda through research and quality of education offered,” she said.
“I urge you young scholars to explore your potential out there by starting your own businesses. This way, you are guaranteed of a greater future, said Nyoro.