Review law, let the president pick chancellors - Education ministry

University of Nairobi graduates during this year's graduation ceremony at the institution. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Ministry of Education is advocating for the formation of a panel appointed by the Cabinet Secretary to select chancellors for public universities.

The ministry says the panel would present three names to the President for appointment, highlighting that governance concerns have negatively impacted the performance of universities in Kenya.

Additionally, the ministry has raised questions regarding the role of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in appointing senior executives in universities.

These developments come when universities are grappling with a debt exceeding Sh62 billion, rendering them unable to settle payments to suppliers or meet their statutory deductions.

According to the CS for Education, Ezekiel Machogu, governance issues have affected the performance of universities. He said the country’s public universities have fared poorly in international rankings, primarily due to limited productivity in research and innovation.

“The Universities Act of 2012 should be amended to include provisions for the appointment of chancellors of public universities by a selection panel,” he said.

In a statement to the Senate Committee on Education, the CS said the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform had put forward several proposals to reform the management of universities.

“The involvement of the PSC has compromised the autonomy of universities,” he added.

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