Education CS Machogu Urges Education Stakeholders to Seek Alternative Sources of Funds
The Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu has urged public universities in Kenya to stop relying solely on tuition fees and government funding.
According to Machogu, these source of revenue is becoming unreliable.
Machogu called on the institutions to find other methods of funding in order for them to stay afloat. In his view, university managers should utilize the current financial challenges as an opportunity to think creatively and innovatively in generating resources.
Machogu also suggested that universities should make use of technology to reduce costs and expand to new markets. Improve their operations, look for partnerships and endowments and give priority to academic programs that can be offered competitively.
Additionally, CS Machogu implored universities to add technical, vocational education, and training to what they are offering in order to equip graduates with practical competencies for self-employment and generation of income.
He said that universities should increase their revenue collection by developing and implementing policies that raise resources from various sources like competitive research, entrepreneurship grants, alumni associations, community service and business investments.
He added that universities should continue investing in collaboration and innovation to attract funding and maintain the quality of education.
He said that universities investment in collaborative research and innovation to attract funding and maintain the quality of education.
The financial crisis facing public universities can be attributed to a combination of cuts in government funding and reforms in national examinations done in 2016.
This has led to all 35 public universities facing financial problems. They are struggling with paying salaries and making statutory deductions. The crisis shows that these institutions are not able to fulfil their traditional role of teaching, research and training.
The government is set to increase funding with the intention of empowering the capacity and interest in research.
The CS also advised public universities to seek support through the creation of endowment funds and philanthropy and monetizing consultancies in their areas of expertise.
He believes that in the long term, relying only on the government is not sustainable.
In addition, he urged universities to implement measures like crafting public-private partnerships, rationalizing non-teaching staff and leasing assets at current market rates.
There have been other suggestions like universities outsourcing services like security and cleaning to cut costs and putting middle-level staff members on contracts.
Machogu also suggested that the universities align courses with the creation of employment and current needs in the markets. He said that the world is moving from theoretical expertise to practical-based skills and because of this, a growing number of Kenyans with good academic qualifications are not employed due to a mismatch of skills and career choices.
He believed that education is important for development, growth and poverty reduction but economic development depends on the knowledge and skills that people acquire.