Is proposal for merger of universities good and well-thought out?

Merging of universities is not a new concept.  It may appear alien to most Kenyans, but it happens a lot in the Western world. In countries like the US and UK, universities and colleges have been merging for several years now.

I see no problem with institutions of higher learning merging, since this is one of the ways in which universities can cut costs of operations and concentrate more on investing in educational projects. Apart from finances, universities can come together because of low enrolment and the quest to provide quality education. Which, if you ask me, are noble reasons for merger of learning institutions. I propose that if the merger is to happen seamlessly, then recently established universities should be dissolved to join mother institutions. This is because the universities have a shared history.

The proximity between the institutions and the courses offered should also count as key before any dissolution or merger. This is to avoid outcry among affected stakeholders. It will be counter-intuitive, for example, to attempt to merge Garissa University in North Eastern region with Kibabii University in Bungoma. The two are worlds apart.

Merging schools and faculties should also be considered as a way of circumventing any looming challenges in the implementation of the directive that will definitely be met with resistance from some quarters. However, caution should be exercised in how the universities staff are handled to forestall any unnecessary protracted court battles.

Dr Yego is a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi

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Merging of universitiesNorth Eastern regionaffected stakeholders