It befits universities to be leading implementers of workforce management best practices given that they are the very training grounds for the Kenyan labour market.
But, the grim reality is that these institutions of higher learning are incessantly making headlines in recent years for their dire state.
If it’s not poor quality of education, it is staff strikes due to remuneration woes or students’ riots over their welfare with missing marks and security topping the list of their troubles.
At Kenya’s oldest public varsity, the University of Nairobi, for instance, in addition to the biting cash crunch, there is also disproportionate staffing such that for every three academic staff, there are seven support staff.
Universities have failed to take advantage of technology to improve efficiencies in administration and training.
As a result, most are technically insolvent with some facing closure or mergers. Already, satellite campuses have become the first casualties.
Now, Education CS George Magoha wants them to cut the number of support staff to accommodate more teaching staff in order to improve quality in higher education.
It is time to address the issues afflicting universities with more seriousness than just taking stop-gap measures.
An overhaul of the running of these institutions is needed now more than ever. Otherwise, we continue to put to risk the lives of many young Kenyans seeking to better their future through education.