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Taita University spends Sh20m per year on foreign visiting professors

WORK LIFE
By Renson Mnyamwezi | February 4th 2016

TAITA, KENYA: Kenya lacks enough trained mining engineers and geological experts, including those who can teach in university, a university don has disclosed.
Taita-Taveta University College (TTUC) Principal Hamadi Boga said the institution; the only Mining University in Kenya requires more than Sh20 million per academic year to pay for foreign visiting professors.
"We require Sh20 million per academic year to pay for air tickets, basic salaries, house allowances, medical cover, local transportation and immigration permits to visiting professors. Support is urgently required to enable the university cope with these heavy recurrent expenditures which its normal budget cannot cover so far," said the Principal.
Professor Boga disclosed that of the four currently active mining engineers in the country, three are staff of the campus.
He says for many years the university had sought to recruit foreign mining engineers as lecturers without success due to a general world shortage of this cadre and due to high salaries paid by mining and oil companies, said the principal.
He noted even attempt to use visiting /adjunct professors had not been successful due to remuneration packages TTUC offered which appeared inadequate yet quite high by Kenyan standards.
Speaking at the university, Prof Boga said a visiting professor from the National Metallurgical Laboratories of India teaches for the university for two months costing Sh 1.3 million.
A part from inadequate mining engineers, the university also lack proper infrastructural development to cater for the rising student demand.
The Principal pointed out that the university is now pegging great hopes on the provisions in the Mining Bill 2013 for the Cabinet Secretary to make regulations providing for a Mining Right Holder to have collaboration and linkage with universities and research institutions to train Kenyan citizens.
He said the proposed Bill should be enacted into law immediately to provide linkages with universities for training of Kenyans and giving them preference in employment.

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