Laikipia and Moi universities are the hardest hit by closure of satellite campuses due to dwindling number of students.
Last week, a popular newspaper (The Standard) reported that 57 public university campuses were closed last year due to failure to meet accreditation requirements.
The story was based on the findings of the Economic Survey 2019 by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Today, we reveal some of the campuses that were closed in the ongoing crackdown to reform university education by the Ministry of Education and Commission of University Education (CUE).
Laikipia had six of its campuses closed, a move that affected thousands of its students. Some of the students had to be transferred to the main campus, further constraining the already strained infrastructure.
The six are Eldoret, Naivasha, Nakuru, Nyahururu, Embu and Upper Hill in Nairobi.Moi had four of its campuses closed. They include Kericho, Mombasa and Nakuru.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya Methodist University, Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) and University of Baraton each had two of their campuses closed.
JKUAT had Westlands in Nairobi and Kisumu campuses closed, while Methodist had Nakuru and Nyeri campuses shut.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has asked universities to subject themselves to “greater scrutiny” and be aware that the government is keen to reform higher education.
“We will rationalise academic programmes and institutions in Kenya with a view to ensure full potential of the existing universities and campuses.
“If possible, existing universities and campuses can be consolidated for maximum utilisation,” Prof Magoha said when he released the 2019 university admission results recently.
The Cabinet secretary also maintained that the freeze on the establishment of new universities and satellite campuses was still in force. He urged universities to specialise in academic programmes they are strong at.
CUE Chief Executive Officer Mwenda Ntarangwi promised that the crackdown will continue until higher education in the country conforms to the highest regional and international standards.
Prof Ntarangwi said the commission was working with universities to form a task force to prepare for the change from 8-4-4 system to the new competency-based curriculum (CBC).
A total of 1,269 2018 KCSE candidates who scored C+ and above and qualified for placement to degree programmes opted for diploma courses in TVET institutions, a further indication that more students want practical rather than theoretical education.
The economic audit by KNBS revealed that the number of campuses reduced from 168 in 2017 to 111 in 2018, while private university campuses have remained five for the past four years.
The Catholic-run CUEA had its Kisumu and Nairobi CBD campuses closed.