CUE Roots For University Audit To Flash Ghost Staff and Students
Data on students and teaching staff in public universities will be audited again to determine the actual number of students.
Mike Kuria, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Commission for University Education (CUE), stated that university staffing and accurate student data will enable universities to alleviate financial burdens.
He noted that universities have a bloated staff register, with some acting as ghosts, who consume the majority of university earnings.
Kuria said the inconsistency of student data also presents a challenge to the government.
He urged universities to automate their data collection in order to improve quality assurance.
Prof. Kuria stated that the audit framework would allow the commission to improve its financial recoveries.
“The Higher Education DataMart will provide a single point of access to various higher education data collections and enable the government to implement several recommendations in the collection of revenue from learners,” Kuria said.
Last year, Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara, who serves on the Education Committee, requested that Vice Chancellors conduct a staff audit and submit a report to the Ministry of Education.
“How many do you have and their categories? What is their age? If you retire those 50 years and above how much will you pay them? Or what is the best option of it all,” Obara said.
Staff data in public universities has been a source of contention, with various numbers presented to government agencies.
A 2017 audit conducted by university administrators and labor unions revealed that public institutions had inflated staff data by 2,513.
Prof Kuria also stated that a consolidated data bank from all universities and regional linkage will alleviate the burden of student certification.
“This is what will form the Cabinet paper that the ministry will send to Treasury alongside many other financing issues including waiver of statutory deductions,” Obara said.
Kuria noted that an Integrity culture must be installed in institutions so that the illegality of degrees or diplomas that students possess should not be a heated debate in the future.
This year, the Commission was forced to prove the legitimacy of degrees presented by politicians during clearance to run for office in the August General Election.
Prof. Kuria takes over CUE at a time when education is changing.
He reiterates his commitment to ensuring that institutions are prepared to change in accordance with the CBC system.
“Kenya has adequately trained capacity to look at any curriculum. As great curriculum developers review CBC, we want to move forward with a lot of confidence as we prepare to receive the new cohorts so that we are not caught flat-footed,” said Kuria.
Prof Kuria, a quality assurance professional, succeeds Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi, who has been in charge for the past five years.
He was the Director of the Centre for Quality Assurance at Daystar University for ten years, during which time the university was chosen by UNESCO as one of its case studies for good practice in higher education quality assurance.