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University colleges to be upgraded, says minister

04 December 2012, 17:18 Joseph Mukubwa

The government has established nine new university colleges and will soon be upgrading the 14 university colleges to full- fledged university status.

Minister for Higher Education Science and Technology Margaret Kamar said this will be in addition to awarding tuition fee support to students enrolled in regular and self - sponsored programmes in public and private universities.

The minister added that to enhance equity, the Government has put in place affirmative action targeting female students as well as students from arid and semi arid lands and those with special needs.

In her speech which was read by the director for Higher Education Salome Gichura during the graduation ceremony of 356 graduands at Karatina University College, Nyeri County, she said: "This graduation comes at a point when major reforms in the education sector are underway. The University Bill, 2012 has just gone through the second reading. The main purpose of the Bill is to provide for the establishment, accreditation and governance of both public and private universities in Kenya."

She added that the Bill will provides for the establishment of specialized universities, technical universities and a national open university to offer university programmes through distance and e-learning mode.

Karatina University College chairman Charles Okidi who was also present said the institution recently completed the process of developing and launching its five year-strategic plan as well as the customer Service Charter.

“This plan will act as a guide to the university college in its resource mobilization, utilization and management to improve efficiency and effectiveness for enhanced service delivery to staff, students and other stakeholders,” he said.

The chairman appreciated the government for the support it has extended to the university college.

“The Ministry of Higher Education has released over KES 324 million to support the ongoing projects since early last year. This is an addition to raising capitation which was increased by KES100 million from the allocation for year 2011/2012,” Okidi added.

He said the funds will enable them to complete the initiated projects as well as initiate other projects as envisaged by the strategic plans.

“These projects include the acquisition of additional land, construction of a modern library, construction of a health centre as well as funding of research and innovation,” he added.

The chairman added that the status of a university college is transitional in nature and is expected to prepare it for upgrade to fully-fledged university.

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