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Invest to avoid heavy loans; CS Matiang'i urges Kenyan public universities

By Graham Kajilwa | February 18th 2016
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i

NAIROBI: Public universities have been asked to refrain from securing heavy loans in a bid to invest in infrastructure.

Instead, they should explore other ways of generating revenue and avoid dependence on the exchequer and tuition fees.

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i cautioned that he would not allow universities to procure debts that added little value to access and quality of university education they offered.

He said that debt procurement must be based on prudent financial principles which have to be accompanied with the highest possible accountability from the elite layers of management from the University Council, the Senate and management.

The CS made the remarks when he commissioned the Uni-City Mall and the National Oil Petrol Station at Kenyatta University: "Generation of third stream income by universities will be a major addition to the institutions' capital base because it will enable meeting the ever increasing budgetary requirements in the realization the core mandates of teaching, research and community service."

He added that government would hold University Councils of public Universities responsible for the management of resources it got from the National Treasury and tuition fees from students, saying most public universities were characterized by low levels of accountability in the management of resources.

Due to the stringent measures put in place by the Council for University Education (CUE) over amenities, many institutions have rushed to purchase expensive buildings in the Central Business District in a bid to keep up with the Standards.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology recently acquired the ICEA Lion building for Sh2 billion.

Matiang'i further challenged universities to develop internal conflict resolution mechanisms instead of running to courts to resolve conflicts: "Officials in Universities are the most exposed the most educated and the most knowledgeable. You must learn to speak to each other instead of wasting time on court cases."

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