University VCs Defy Magoha as He Announces Changes

Education CS George Magoha releasing KCPE 2020 exams at Mitihani house in Nairobi
Education CS George Magoha releasing KCPE 2020 exams at Mitihani house in Nairobi

Education Cabinet Secretary announced sweeping reforms at Public Universities that are going to render hundreds jobless on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

CS Magoha instructed all Vice-Chancellors to urgently slash the number of non-academic human resource staff in their institutions.

He demanded that every university should ensure that 70 percent of its staff is academic including professors, lecturers, and researchers while the last 30 percent is reserved for non-teaching staff.

Education CS George Magoha addresses the Maseno Graduation class of 2020 on April 30, 2021

Magoha expressed dissatisfaction with how some universities fire professors at the expense of the non-teaching staff who account for a majority of their workforce.

Speaking in Gem Siaya County during the handover ceremony of Moi University's Odera Akango college campus to Maseno University, CS Magoha hit out at VCs telling them off that they should know that all public universities belong to the government and that they cannot run them as they wish.

He further told VCs that they must consult before implementing any changes.

"You have no powers as chairs of councils or even the VCs, so you must consult and this is the interest of our children. We are asking universities to transform now. It cannot be your way..the university does not belong to you," Magoha stated.

Magoha's announcement comes as University of Nairobi (UoN) VC Stephen Kiama stated that the institution does not need the CS' approval to institute the changes it had planned.

Kiama argued that the changes at UoN were done by the University Council which does not need Magoha's nod.

Prof Kiama argued that the scrapping of the colleges was done by the University Council which did not violate the charters of the university.

UoN abolished six colleges and condensed all 35 faculties into 11 to avoid duplication of courses.

In another raft of changes, the institution more than doubled tuition fees in a move that was frozen by CS Magoha.

To deal with the huge debt the institution is facing, Prof Kiama also made some leadership changes. He created the position of associate vice-chancellor.

Prof Kiama further in a direct message to CS Magoha, stated that the changes made at UoN are legally bound by their charter.

In furtherance of the battle for dominance, Kiama added that the University read the letter sent by CS Magoha and made proper interpretation, and ruled out any conflict.

UoN VC Professor Stephen Kiama addresses first years during a virtual orientation on Thursday, September 3, 2020
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