The Impact of the Commission of Higher Education and Government Reforms on Kenyan Universities

By Kirigha Alfred Kitawi.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Universities act as the zenith of learning. The university should generate knowledge and foster openness to truth. Through time, the concept of universities has undergone a stable metamorphosis. They are now engaged in humanities, sciences and technical subjects. The Kenyan scenario is no exception, the Government of Kenya and the Commission of Higher Education (CHE) in the past decade and a half has been introducing reforms to respond both to local and global challenges. Some of these reforms have been from changing the source of funding, governance, change in the institutional structure and processes. This has had an impact on the structures, the output (students), processes and operational boundaries. The effect of these reforms has not been investigated in detail. Therefore, there was need to investigate the effect of these reforms (externally induced) on the organisations. The purpose of the study was to provide an analytical framework for understanding the effect of changes induced by CHE and the Government of Kenya on Kenyan universities. The results should help inform and reform the extent to which CHE and the Government should shape the direction of these universities towards responsiveness to university-market needs and sustainability. The researcher opted for the quantitative and qualitative design approach. The estimated population of universities in Kenya is 23 universities, with seven of these being public universities. Check-lists were used to get data about the selected universities. These questions in the check lists were administered selectively on data collected earlier this year and latest statistics that were available online. The conclusions derived were that the structure, process and boundaries have been influenced by government reforms, though in varying degrees. A glaring emphasis was research activities. In addition, it has affected the external and internal linkages of universities with other stakeholders.

Keywords: Government of Kenya, Commission of Higher Education, Institute of Policy and Research Analysis, Output, Process, Boundaries, Structure, Higher Education

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp.101-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.143MB).

Kirigha Alfred Kitawi

Assistant Lecturer, IHEDS, Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya

I am interested in Higher Education Policy in Africa. I went to Makerere University for my Masters degree and I'm currently pursuing a Doctorate. I co-published a paper in the CISSE Conference 2007. The title of the paper was System approach to instruction on achieving the goals of universities: a case study of Makerere University.

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