In a raft of measures to improve its services, Kisii University has discontinued admission of students to programmes where it lacks adequate academic staff.
Prof Joseph Akama said the university has also scaled down academic programmes and realigned others according to availability of academic staff in the respective discipline.
“The university has also recruited 51 PhD degree holders’ lecturers in various disciplines,” he said.
On October 25, the institution had agreed to implement recommendations of a Special Advisory Committee on Universities that proposed the shut down of its six campuses.
The Committee was set up early this year by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to help it improve on quality.
The Commission for University Education (CUE) had in January ordered that 10 campuses of the university be closed down, but Dr Matiang’i reversed the decision and gave the institution one year to make the changes.
He set up an investigation committee led by the University of Nairobi’s two former vice-chancellors and a dean of the School of Law to re-examine the campuses and verify the claims of low quality and suggest a solution.
The team consists of Prof George Magoha, Prof Crispus Kiamba and Prof Patricia Kameri-Mbote (from the law school).
“The Kisii University Community – that is, the Chancellor, the council, management board, senate, employees, students – appreciates the positive engagement and high end professional guidance the Ministry of Education, CUE and the advisory committee have shown towards the university,” Prof Akama said.
Prof Akama said the university has been positively engaging with the committee since then on the issues of physical resources, academic programmes, libraries, and academic staff recruitment within the framework of the University Standards and Guidelines of 2014.
“Kisii University Council, Management and Senate have voluntarily reached a decision to close down the following campuses: Keroka, Ogembo, Nyamira, Kehancha, Isebania, and Eldama-Ravine,” Prof Akama said.
He added that the University has acquired new buildings and more spaces in the existing campuses so as to conform to the CUE regulations on standards of physical resources.
“For example, acquisition of new buildings in Kericho, Migori and Eldoret, and acquisition of more space in Kisumu, Kitale and Nairobi campuses have been done in consultation with the Committee of Eminent Experts,” the VC said.
The advisory committee, which presented its report to Dr Matiang’i on October 25, recommended the following:
That the university’s campuses carve niches in specific areas where they have comparative advantages and concentrate on developing those specific programmes and; attracting, recruiting and retaining the programme-appropriate qualified staff.
The committee also advised the university to stop further admission of new students for the campuses identified for closure.
The rationalisation plan entails the transfer of approximately 400 students from Isebania and Kehancha to Migori campus, 600 from Keroka, Nyamira and Ogembo to the main campus, and approximately 200 from Eldama Ravine to Kabarnet campus.
The university was reprimanded by the committee for running too many programmes, some of which had not been accredited by CUE and recommends that they be reduced to sustainable levels.
Other universities that have closed their satellite campuses include: Laikipia University, which has shut down Nairobi, Naivasha, Eldoret, Embu, Maralal and Laikipia campuses starting next year January.
Maasai Mara University in Narok County has also closed down five of its satellite campuses in Kilgoris, Nyandarua, Bomet, Kajiado and Kisii, and attributed the move to the government’s initiative to control unnecessary expansion of public universities.