Kenyatta University to lay off hundreds of staff

Prof Paul Wainaina.

Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Hundreds of Kenyatta University lecturers and non-teaching staff will be laid off as the institution begins restructuring.

In a statement, Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina announced that the move had been necessitated by reduced capitation from the national government and harsh economic environment that has driven the university into financial crunch.

 “In view of the disinformation that is going on in the social media regarding the proposed restructuring, it is important for the university to provide clarity and highlight some of the changes to avoid rumours,” said the VC.

Prof Wainaina said capitation from the National Government has remained constant at Sh3 billion over the last few years despite the rising cost of running the university over the same period.

He said the reduction in the number of self-sponsored students since 2016 has seen finances dwindle.

Prof Wainaina said in August 2021, the university appointed a committee to look at all aspects of university’s operations with a focus on reducing costs without compromising the quality of education.  

Some of the proposals being implemented include rationalisation of university divisions/units with the goal of bringing efficiency and optimisation, de-establishment of academic programmes attracting few students over a period of time and merging of schools to maximise their efficiency, review of  part-time teaching and empowering lecturers to take additional classes, reduction of part time teaching and restructuring of University Campuses that will see campuses offering new academic programmes and Technical Vocational Education Training courses.

Last year, University of Nairobi also announced restructuring which led to reduction of some programmes and increased fees.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified Kenyatta University, University of Nairobi and Moi University as the institutions hit by cash crunch

Last year, the Universities Academic Staff Union  accused the University of Nairobi of engaging in uncontrolled and unnecessary expansion which drove the institution into a financial crisis.

The union also accused the university management of taking bank loans to meet its operational costs.  

The university is also unable to pay pensions and statutory deductions for its workers.

The IMF proposed major reforms in public universities aimed at addressing the acute financial crises.  

Among the recommendations were for the institutions to reduce staff and to look for alternative ways of generating revenue.

Kenyatta University is among the higher institutions of learning with the highest number of staff. 

The university has increased its staff from 3,067 in 2017 to 3,126 in 2020.

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