MAGOHA: Most universities have more subordinate staff than lecturers

A section Taita Taveta University students./ PHOTO COURTESY

The quality of education in Kenyan universities continues to go down because universities are hiring more supporting staff than lecturers who do the actual teaching in the institutions.

According to Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. George Magoha, the ratio of faculty to supporting staff in the universities should be 70 percent to 30 percent, but in some universities it is vice versa.

“In Kenya, the best university, and I will not say which one, has a 48 percent to 52 percent ratio of faculty to supporting staff with the lowest having a 14:86 percent ratio,” said Magoha.

Magoha said people seem to have decided to be focusing on the non-academic aspects of the university. So if the university is located at an area then the cleaners should also be from the area, and that is what seems to be driving the failures in the university systems.

The Education CS was addressing Vice Chancellors in Nairobi at a Higher Education forum organized by the Ministry of Education and World Bank.

Magoha also criticized the high number of university branches and universities being set up across the country saying that “we need to downsize the number of universities and focus more on the quality of education in the institutions.”

“Since universities are national, it makes no sense whether the university is at my village or it is in Lodwar, it doesn’t make a difference,” said the CS.

 “Having five universities within a perimeter of 60 kilometres, in my most humble opinion, is not wise. But that is where we are heading to,” he added.