29 Public Universities Crisis over lack of chancellors and Vice Chancellors
29 Public Universities Crisis over lack of chancellors and Vice Chancellors. In Kenya, there are at least 29 public institutions that are in dire need of vice chancellors and chancellors who can oversee their daily operations.
Despite Section 38(5) of the Universities Act specifying that they should serve in an acting capacity for a time not exceeding three months, the affected universities have had their crucial duties carried out by the chairs of their respective university councils.
Moi, Kibabii, Kabianga, Rongo, Tom Mboya, Karatina, and Jaramogi University of Science and Technology are a some of the institutions without permanent chancellors.
This list also includes Tharaka, the Technical University of Mombasa, the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Maseno, Taita Taveta, the Kaimosi Friends University, Chuka, the Cooperative University of Kenya, Kirinyaga, the Laikipia region of Kenya, the South Eastern region of Kenya, Garissa, the Technical University of Kenya, the Murang’a University of Technology, the Kisii region of the Maasai Mara, Multimedia
Ten serving VCs are scheduled to retire by December, which has made the situation much more dire. The performance of a university suffers greatly when the chancellor and vice chancellor are absent.
Every university is required to have a chancellor, according to Section 38(1) of the Universities Act, whose duties include acting as the institution’s nominal leader and bestowing diplomas, certificates, and other distinctions in the institution’s name.
Conversely, vice-chancellors are each university’s academic and administrative leaders.
In addition to the tasks and obligations listed in the Charter, they are in charge of the university’s overall direction, organization, administration, and programs.
The existence of so many public universities coincides with the fact that these institutions are struggling under the weight of mounting debts, which as of June 2022 totaled more than Sh56.1 billion.
In addition, payments for contractors and part-time lecturers are included in the total debt. Universities owe Saccos Sh4.1 billion, suppliers Sh4.8 billion, part-time professors Sh4.5 billion, and contractors Sh1.4 billion.
The government is projected to cover 80% of the cost of a university education under the differentiated unit cost (DUC) funding scheme, with the remaining 20% coming from inside the universities themselves.
The Ministry of Education has urged public colleges that are struggling financially to find additional sources of revenue, including hiking tuition.
Most public universities are on the verge of failing, according to data from the Universities Fund (UF), because of debt and an inability to pay statutory deductions like Pay as You Earn taxes, Sacco and bank loan repayments, and remittances to NHIF and NSSF for health insurance and retirement benefits, respectively.
According to UF Chief Executive Geoffrey Monari, when allocating budgets to various universities, the agency takes into account a number of factors, including staff costs, the student-to-staff ratio, student numbers, the cost of infrastructure and operations, the type of student load, as well as the levels of the programs.
The suggested funding structure includes elements like performance-based funding and capital grant allocation criteria.