Private varsities will lay off staff over new funding formula, says lobby Chair

Private University
Rev.-Dr.-Stephen-Mbugua-Catholic-University-of-Eastern-Africa /Photo Courtesy

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As a ripple effect of the new funding formula, reports indicate that private universities might lose a sixth of their staff which will include the administrative staff, non-teaching staff and some teaching staff.

Kenya Association of Private Universities Chairman Professor Stephen Mbugua says that each institution could be forced to lay off at least 20 members of staff in the first year of the implementation of the funding model.

This comes after private universities suffered a remarkable plunge in number of students joining the institutions, a development that now threatens their survival.

An analysis made has shown that Mount Kenya University will get the highest enrolment among the private institutions with 2, 322 students.

KCA University is second with 1, 252, Zetech is third with 1, 018 while Kabarak will receive 910 as fourth and  Daystar University closes the top five private universities with 889.

Alupe University will get 798, Catholic University of Eastern Africa received 797, and Kenya Methodist University got 503, University of Eastern Africa Baraton has 384, while Catholic-based Uzima University got 241 students.

The lowest admissions will be recorded in International Leadership University which got only 3 students, Pan-African Christian University got 7, East African University got 12, and Marist University College will enrol 12 while Tangaza University College will admit 13 students.

Scott Christian University will receive 13 students and Islamic University of Kenya only scooped 14 students this year.

Apparently, 10 universities that got less than ten students will be the most affected resulting in 200 staff being laid off in the first year if they will lose 20 staff each.

“More than 10 universities have less than 20 students. This means some three or four faculties will not have any students. The staff that will be handling those in the first year will not have any work thus could lead to job losses,” Prof. Mbugua said.

Mbugua says some universities might be forced to increase fees while other cost-cutting measures could include reducing benefits of their staff.

“I would dread for that to happen but some of these universities especially the faith-based institutions do not have any other source of revenue,” Prof. Mbugua added.

Similarly, the Commission for University Education (CUE) urged the government not to fund degree courses that have not attracted enough students.

CUE Chairman Chacha Nyaigoti also said lecturers who teach such courses must now look for jobs elsewhere.

 By Thuita Jaswant

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