Radical proposals to restructure universities into centres of excellence – Education News| The Leading Newspaper on Education News

By Hezron Roy

Repositioning universities as centres of excellence and review of technical directorates within State Department for University Education and Research (SDUER) in the Ministry of Education will help Kenya’s universities to improve their performance, a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Education proposes.

In his book titled Roadmap on Kenyan Intellectual Capital Causers, 2021, Archbishop Vainadu Titus Zakayo Ingana, the acting Director of Research in the Directorate of Research, Science and Technology (DRST) in the SDUER, argues that in order to reap maximum benefits from universities, centres of excellence should be established in all universities and in particular public universities with specific mandates. He says this will develop capacities and produce competent employable manpower.

As part of their mandates, universities should be tasked with establishing seeking solutions to problems facing the Kenyan society.

“Universities are institutions of higher learning expected to play a critical role in the socio-economic development of nations and societies. They should be at the forefront of seeking solutions to problems facing societies,” states Archbishop Ingana.

According to Ingana, universities should not only focus on existing problems but should be able to analyze patterns and trends and anticipate potential gaps for both present and future actions, and develop robust research agenda based on emerging issues. The training programmes and research agenda should be geared towards producing research outputs and innovations that enable the society to deal with existing and emerging issues.

While giving examples of universities harnessing the readily available and immense solar radiation in our tropical environment, and the current practical example of how common weed is being used to produce dye for textile by Moi University’s Rivatex, Ingana notes that training programmes and research agenda should take into consideration existing natural resources for societal good.

In view of the prevailing challenges and emerging issues in the management of university education in the country, Archbishop Ingana proposes that the current Directorate of University Education (DUE) be split into two, each headed by a director at Job Group (JG) ‘S’ under the Secretary, University Education,  at JG ‘T’.

“As institutions providing the much-needed intellectual capital, Kenyan public universities have not performed to expectations. There is a mismatch between skills produced at these universities and the needs of the labour market,” notes Ingana in his book.

The new post of Secretary, University Education, will offer advisory services to the Ministry of Education on technical matters dealing with university education.

He further suggests that the two directorates be split into Directorate of University Governance and Student Affairs (DUGSA), which will be responsible for deployment and implementation of policy, monitoring and evaluation, coordination of stakeholders and performance management, among other roles.

The other is Directorate of Partnership and Projects (DPP) responsible for policy partnerships development and implementation, administration of scholars and coordination of donor-funded projects, among other duties.

Currently, the DUE is only responsible for local and international university education, projects and partnerships, policy and planning, and is headed by a director at JG ‘S’.

In the same vein, Ingana proposes that the current Directorate of Research, Science and Technology (DRST), which he heads, also be split in two, each headed by a director at JG ‘S’ under the Secretary; Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (RSTI) at JG ‘T’.

The new post of Secretary RSTI will offer advisory services to the ministry on technical matters dealing with research, science, technology and innovation.

The proposed splits for DRST are the Directorate of Research Management and Development (DRMD) responsible for development and implementation of RSTI partnerships, management of global obligations, coordination of resource mobilization, research infrastructure, and coordination of the RSTI monitoring and evaluation activities.

The other is the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI) mandated to develop and implement RSTI policies, provide technical and expert policy support, disseminate research findings, manage RSTI statistics and repositions, and evaluate RSTI.


Archbishop Ingana’s proposed public universities’ centres of excellence

1 Chuka University Environmental Studies and Renewable Energy
2 Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Manufacturing and Materials Engineering
3 Egerton University Agriculture, Livestock and Crops (Food Security)
4 University of Embu § Microbiology Research Institute (MRI)

§ Centre for Research in Small-scale Agriculture

§ Education Management

5 Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology § Centre for Studies in Food Security

§ Institute for Studies in Fresh Water Research

6 Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)  

Agricultural Technology

7 Karatina University Nursing
8 Kenyatta University (KU) § Biotechnology and Public Health

§ Education Management

9 Kibabii University § Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

§ Centre for Research in Trade and Industrialization

10 Kirinyaga University Education Management
11 Kisii University § Business and Economics

§ Law

12 Laikipia University Sports Science
13 Maasai Mara University Tourism and Wildlife Research Centre
14 Machakos University Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
15 Maseno University § Public Health

§ Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

16 Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) § Engineering

§ Public Health

§ Centre for Industrial and Labour Relations Studies

17 Meru University of Science and Technology Dry and Rangeland Agriculture
18 Moi University § Public Health

§ Centre for Renewable Energy

§ Centre for Research in Textile and Garment Manufacturing

19 Multimedia University of Kenya § Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

§ Centre for Research in Media

20 Murang’a University of Technology Centre for Research in Technological Innovations
21 Pwani University Engineering and Marine Sciences
22 Rongo University Centre for Research in Agriculture
23 South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) § Dry and Rangeland Agriculture

§ Centre for Research in Metrological and Geological Sciences

§ Centre for Research in Textiles and Garment manufacturing

24 Taita Taveta University § Centre for Mining and Mineral Process Engineering

§ Centre for Geographical Information System (GIS) Studies

25 Technical University of Kenya (TUK) Engineering
26 Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) § Centre for Studies in Engineering

§ Institute for Marine Sciences

27 The Cooperative University of Kenya (CUK) § Business and Economics

§ Centre for Studies in Cooperative Movement

28 University of Eldoret Environment and Natural Resources
29 University of Kabianga Environment and land use
30 University of Nairobi (UON) § Public Health

§ Institute for Studies in Tropical Medicine

§ Law

§ Engineering

§ Nuclear Science

§ Education Management

§ Centre for Studies in Mathematics

§ Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

31 Garissa University Education Management




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