UoN Vice Chancellor tells State to increase funding for varsities offering STEM courses

From left: Education CS Ezekiel Machogu, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen Kiama, and the institution’s Chancellor Patrick Verkooijen share a light moment on April 4.

The Government has been challenged to review higher education funding guidelines so as to increase capitation to the country’s oldest universities where some of the expensive programmes are offered.

Professor Stephen Gitahi Kiama, the University of Nairobi (UoN) Vice Chancellor said that allocation of equal capitation to oldest universities and younger universities would create imbalances.

He also added that equal capitation strain the oldest vasities’ retention of staffs and acquisition of infrastructure and equipment.

Kiama said oldest varsities continue to attract huge applications for enrolment for expensive and demanding courses as dentistry, engineering and other medicine related courses.

University of Nairobi and most of the oldest universities offer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

Addressing journalists during an interview in local TV Station show, professor Kiama noted that public universities has a challenge to launch innovative income generating programmes to attract external funds to avoid dependence on dwindling Government financial allocations.


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The VC said deficits at the institutions are in billions and that put the university and others as well in dire straits considering that the initial package expected covered a mere 67 per cent.

The full package as initially announced by Prof Kiama said was KSh6.2 billion which went down to KSh5.6 billion before later falling to the present KSh4.95 billion meaning that up to KSh2 billion was never released from the State.

Kiama said the university has non-movable assets valued at more than KSh800 billion but they remain idle and hugely unprofitable.

From left: Education CS Ezekiel Machogu, University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen Kiama, and the institution’s Chancellor Patrick Verkooijen exchange on April 4.

He insisted that with prudent and proper legal guidelines, the same had the potential to be put into safe investments and earn the University huge profits eventually transforming such as an institution to a financially independent and sustainable entity.

He further stated that endowment funds, research funding programmes, philanthropic partners and university alumni groups—all sources which had the potential to guarantee financial sustainability.

The long-serving professor said that upon exit from the University leadership he would like to be remembered as a personality who influenced young people positively making them improve their own lives and transforming societies as a result of profitable and sustainable innovations he started.

By Robert Nyagah

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