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Private Universities Outline New Enrollment Requirements

Private Universities Outline New Enrollment Requirements

Before they choose and place students, private universities want the government to find out if there is enough money to pay for their college education.

In addition, they want to establish and run a National Open University of Kenya because technology is getting machines to do better and more jobs.

In their presentation to the Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms at Chania High School in Kiambu, private universities also advocated for the retention of Junior Secondary in primary schools.

They believe this would make the change easier, give all students the same chances, and stop a crisis in the industry.

Regarding university placement and finance, the National Association of Private Universities in Kenya (NAPUK) contended that the current system of assigning students to universities and colleges had precipitated a funding problem.

After determining the available finances to support State-sponsored students, they now argue that the Universities Fund should advise the placement agency on the number of students to pick and place.

NAPUK contended that the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) already picks and places students in universities and colleges before determining the available funding.

“This has contributed to the present crisis where institutions are struggling to stay afloat because the government is unable to release adequate funds,” said NAPUK Secretary General Dr. Vincent Gaitho.

According to subsection (a) of section 56 of the Universities Act of 2012, KUCCPS is responsible for coordinating the placement of government-sponsored students in universities and colleges.

Section 54 (4) (c) of the Act states that the Universities Fund shall provide monies to public universities and conditional grants to private universities based on set criteria.

However, private institutions now contend that placement of students should only occur once the Universities Financing Board assesses the available funding and publishes explicit funding criteria.

Before placement, they recommend that available funds and the differentiated unit cost (DUC), as established by the Universities Funding Board, should guide the placement of students at universities.

Dr. Gaitho suggested a deliberate assessment of how the placement of students by KUCCPS was conceptualized, as well as developing criteria to identify deserving students who would get government sponsorship.

“The government sponsorship for university education should be formulated on the basis of deserving cases, affirmative action and in support of the government’s national development goals,” said Dr. Gaitho.

“The best business practices and entrepreneurial skills (should) be included in university education funding, where the available budget is determinant of fund sharing and students’ placement,” he added.

Private universities argued that there needs to be a structure for deciding which students are entitled to university funding.

“There is glaring discrimination in the implementation of the DUC by the Universities Funding Board where government-sponsored students in private universities receive less than half of what those in public universities get,” said Dr. Gaitho.

NAPUK also desires a review of university governance systems to understand how they influence the allocation of financial resources.

Universities must investigate many sources of revenue, according to Dr. Gaitho, noting that university funds must be managed prudently and that all activities and initiatives must be aligned with the institution’s mission.

NAPUK has also asked the panel led by Prof. Raphael Munavu to think about how to set up and run a National Open University of Kenya in light of how technology is changing and how much work machines can do.

They noted that the COVID-19 epidemic precipitated an unprecedented method of conducting business and living, rendering time and distance irrelevant.

According to Dr. Gaetho, universities globally and in Kenya have implemented technology that enables seamless online teaching, learning, examination, and graduation.

NAPUK underscored the urgent need for the government, via the ICT ministry, to identify the obstacles that prevent access to inexpensive and stable online connectivity.

They say the government responsible for digitalization should promote and execute national internet connectivity.

Dr. Gaitho urged the task panel that counties should roll out internet connectivity with free WiFi hotspots in appropriate locations and open public parks to support students pursuing online academic programs across the country.

NAPUK also provided input regarding the placement of Junior Secondary schools, proposing that the level of education be housed in elementary schools once it is implemented in January 2023.

Dr. Gaitho opined that it is unlikely that the present facilities can accommodate students, given that the transition of all Grade 8 students to Form 1 began four years ago.

Private Universities Outline New Enrollment Requirements

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