The composition of the Commission for University Education and the students’ council is set to change if a new Senate Bill is enacted.
The Universities (Amendment) Act 2020 seeks to incorporate persons with disabilities, minorities and marginalised groups into the two bodies.
“The principal object of the Bill is to provide for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Commission for University Education and the students’ associations in universities,” the Bill reads.
The Bill is sponsored by Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, who said it caters for the interests of persons with disabilities in universities. It has been introduced in the Senate for the first reading.
The Bill also takes into account the participation and representation of minorities and marginalised groups in the governance of universities.
Specifically, the proposed law amends Section 6 of the Universities Act to include one person with disability.
The person shall be appointed by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of university education and shall be a distinguished academic scholar.
Also, one person who is a distinguished academic scholar shall be appointed by the CS to represent the minorities and marginalised groups.
The Bill also amends Section 41 of the Act to include three other members to represent special interests in students’ associations’. Of these, at least one shall be a student with disability.
Mwaura said inclusion of students with disabilities in the university students’ associations will strengthen devolution and enhance national diversity in universities’ students’ associations.
“In addition, universities provide economic growth in the host counties, hence the universities’ students’ associations should be inclusive of all persons,” he said.
CUE is currently composed of a chairman and a vice-chairman appointed by the President and at most 22 others.
The President also appoints not more than 15 and not less than 11 members. They are appointed by virtue of their experience in university education and research.
Other members are University Education PS, Finance PS, four persons appointed by the CS to represent other areas of university education, the Chief Secretary and the Director of Personnel Management.
CUE is an agency that promotes the objectives of university education, advises the CS on the establishment of public universities and accredits universities among other functions.
It also co-ordinates the long-term planning, staff development, scholarship and physical development of university education, promotes national unity and identity in universities and cooperates with the government in the planned development of university education