Egerton University closes over Debt crisis: more trouble for public universities ahead

Students of Moi university go home after the university was shut down due to insolvency. image/courtesy
Egerton and Moi Universities have already sent their student home due to debts crisis. More public universities in Kenya are surviving on borrowed time as their debts levels especially those owed to part time lecturers continue rising. Image/courtesy

After yyears or running under strained budgets and surviving on borrowed time, Kenyan Universities can no longer hold but have finally started sinking over heavy debts.

It started with Moi University, and now Egerton University had finally followed. Closing its doors over lecturers strike and their inability to pay their salaries.

In our previous article How corruption, tribalism, and nepotism is killing public universities, we highlighted some of the Kenyan public vasities that were surviving on borrowed time. This comes even as universities like the university of Nairobi, Muranga University, Kenyatta University and the Jomo kenyatta a university of Agriculture and technology survival hangs in the balance over accumulation of debts and non submission of statutory deductions to the respective government agencies.

Worse still as mentioned, public universities owe billions of shillings to part time lecturers and as things stand, they can no longer afford to pay these monies any time soon.

The closure of Egerton and Moi Universities is just but a warning to the government and streamline higher education and ensure prudent management of resources allocated to them. More to that, the ministry of higher education needs to come in and seal all loopholes used by the University management including Vice chancellor and the universities Governing councils from freecing the universities.

Over time, questions still remain unanswered on why the government spends public funds to sponsor private universities. The university placement board has remained divided on this, with a majority opposing the plan despite the cabinet secretary for education remaining adamant that this will continue.

Reports that the govebmmet in the last 4 years has paid over 10 billion shillings to private universities raises more fears that the priorities for government are misplaced and this has facilitated tthe collapse of some of these public universities.

Well pplaced sources has pointed to the fears that we’ll connected individuals in government have used their positions to influence these decisions to benefit self and family.

This they argue can easily be tracked by the allocation by the university placement body where some private vasuties pay huge amounts of money to influence allocation of students to their institutions.

This, as deserving universities are allocated fewer students than they should even when their declared capacity is high.

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