Prohibition of 17 Counties from Establishing Universities according to Proposed Reforms
Prohibition of 17 Counties from Establishing Universities according to Proposed Reforms. The Commission of University Education must make sure that public universities are founded in every county, with a preference given to those that do not already have any, in accordance with Section 26 of the University Act.
However, if Kenyans accept extreme proposals to stop the establishment of higher education institutions in the devolved regions, at least 17 counties without a public university may never have the chance to have one.
Each county is required to have a public university under the University Act, which was passed by Parliament in 2012.
In its analysis, the reform team claims that this requirement is not financially feasible given the current state of the already constructed public colleges.
The team advises doing away with Section 26 of the University Act entirely as a result.
Due to this, it’s possible that the 17 counties listed will never get universities.
Elgeyo Marakwet and Busia are also found in these counties, along with Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Makueni, Nyandarua, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Kajiado, and Nyamira.
The reform team strongly advises the government to refrain from creating new universities in these regions.
Currently, 30 counties are home to 39 public colleges and universities. The University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Multimedia University, Technical University of Kenya, and Co-operative University are the five universities located in Nairobi County.
Mama Ngina University College, Dedan Kimathi, and Karatina are the three universities located in Nyeri County. Uasin Gishu has two universities, and Kisii has one.
There are universities in other counties as too, including Bomet, Turkana, Taita Taveta, Embu, Kilifi, Kitui, Garissa, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Machakos, Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nakuru, Laikipia, Narok, Migori, Kisumu, Siaya, Nandi, Kakamega, and Bungoma.
The Ministry of Education earlier attempted to repeal the rule mandating a university in every county by amending the University Act, but the National Assembly has not yet adopted the bill.
The union that represents lecturers, the University and Academic Staff Union, opposes the ministry’s plans.
In a presentation to the Education Committee of the National Assembly on October 28, 2021, UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga argued that the current provision should be preserved.
Wasonga asserted that abolishing the provision will result in bias because it benefits counties with established institutions.
Under the new framework proposed by the reform committee, it is likely that no new public universities will be established, and the continued existence of the existing institutions will rely on how well they perform.
The group wants the law that mandates the establishment of at least one public institution in every county to be abolished.