CS Fred Matiang'i suspends new campuses, freezes university loans

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has now suspended the establishment of new satellite campuses until further notice.

He also announced yesterday that loan approvals for all public universities have been frozen forthwith.

Dr Matiang'i said universities borrow huge sums of money to acquire campuses that he said are watering down the quality of education in the country.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. He has now suspended the establishment of new satellite campuses until further notice.(PHOTO: COURTESY)

Speaking yesterday, the CS instructed the Commission for University Education (CUE) not to approve any further establishment of campuses.

"Prof Some (David) you will not approve any more satellite campuses because we want the existing ones to be utilised to capacity," said Matiang'i.

He said in Nakuru alone, there are more campuses than the town can hold.

"We cannot keep buying buildings and putting up campuses yet our core business is to provide quality education, which we have now downgraded," he said.

Matiang'i said the ministry is now implementing a stringent rule on borrowing by public universities.

He said some universities owe financial institutions up to Sh1 billion.

"And these monies were borrowed to buy buildings. The establishment of these campuses leads to accumulation of debts and that is why we have raised the bar for loans approvals. It's time for gradual development," said Matiang'i.

He said all public universities must "consolidate and utilise" the available campuses with a view to improving quality of education.

The decision by Matiang'i comes at a time when a CUE audit revealed that some 20 campuses are not conducive for learning and recommended immediate closure.

The CUE report also put another 17 campuses under review and they have been given three-months notice to comply with the regulations or risk being shut down. The 2016 audit report recommended closure of 12 new campuses.