President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged public universities to focus more on quality and market oriented courses relevant to Kenyan economic needs.
While the Government appreciates efforts being made to expand public university’s infrastructure and facilities, the President said, there is need for the administrators to ensure quality is not compromised and that graduates are well trained with skills which can benefit the country.
The President said it is unfortunate that Kenya does not have personnel skilled in the mining industry even as many foreign companies venture into gas and oil exploration.
“Higher education is growing at an incredible pace. This is not only because of demand but because of the pace of development. We must make sure we maintain a healthy balance between quality and quantity,” said the President.
The President was speaking this morning when he met Chancellors of public universities who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.
The chancellors briefed the President on the emerging issues in university education in Kenya.
They also spoke on the role of research and proposed on how to improve university education in the country.
The President said university councils should not be motivated by more revenues in the expansion programmes but the quality of graduates.
The President told the university chiefs that although the Government will spend Ksh 38 billion on medical equipment for screening cancer patients to decongest Kenyatta national hospital, it has discovered that there is a shortage of skilled personnel to operate it.
“It is unfortunate that we don’t have skilled medical engineers to operate the equipment we are buying,” the President said.
The President concurred with the Chancellors on the need to allocate more resources to public universities to boost research and innovation in the universities.
He, however, said there is need for universities to work with other tertiary institutions to diversify courses to meet the demand of the country’s economic growth.
On security, President Kenyatta said university administrators must liaise with security chiefs and organize a programme to train students on how to respond in case of terror attacks.
He pointed out that the security threats the country is facing are not the work of outsiders but radicalised youth within Kenya.
“Several young people have been arrested while coming back after undergoing radicalisation while others have been apprehended on their way to join radical groups elsewhere,” he said.
Ministry of Education Principal Secretary, Prof. Colleta Suda led the delegation of 18 public university chancellors to State House, Nairobi.