Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Professor George Magoha has warned public universities against relying on state funding for sustainability.
He instead advised them to revamp their research units to settle afloat in the tough circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Universities which rely on the National Research Fund for their research money will go nowhere. University researchers should source money from outside through proposals to keep their universities afloat,” said Magoha
The CS was speaking at the 43rd graduation ceremony at Egerton University, Njoro campus which was held virtually due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Academic staff must be able to do research and write proposals to get funds from inside and outside the country instead of waiting for NRF,” he continued.
He said universities should train academic staff to write proposals to acquire research funding in fundamental areas such as agriculture and veterinary.
“Egerton University and others will not go anywhere until a significant part of their budget comes from research,” said the CS
“Assess the professors before they retire. Professors should be productive and not just earn hefty salaries without writing research proposals that will bring more funds to the universities,” Prof Magoha said on Friday.
He criticised the staffing of some public universities which he said resembled tribal institutions.
“If you go to some of the universities, you will find that staff from the messenger to the VC all come from the same community,” he added.
“We need to redefine what a university is. A university is not an employment agency for politicians. If we fail to do this now, it will come to haunt us,” said the CS.
“As scholars, you should stop being used by politicians,” he added urging students to be innovative instead of waiting to be employed by the government which cannot employ all the graduates from 30 public universities in Kenya.
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