On Thursday, while appearing before the National Assembly Education Committee, Prof. Magoha denied such plans exist.
“The merger issue is a creation of the media and a few people who brought it before you. It does not exist, it is only a figment of the imagination of the media,” Prof Magoha told the committee.
Prof Magoha explained that his ministry was instead focused on pursuing comprehensive reforms.
Had the merger as well as review of academic courses sailed through, it would have resulted in some 27,000 staff including 9,000 lecturers losing their jobs, something which would surely have irked university unions.
On May 6th this year, Prof Magoha informed participants at a conference on Kenya’s higher education of government plans for “existing universities and campuses to be consolidated for maximum utilization.”
Suspended Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich, while reading the Budget Statement, announced radical measures the government was planning to undertake including merging of universities and shutting down some of their satellite campuses across the country.
“We shall review all the university public financial and management systems, appraise ongoing projects with a view to restructuring them and implement radical measures that will include merger or closure of some universities and university campuses that are not able to sustain their operations against the number of students admitted or degree offered,” said Mr Rotich.
As of 2019, Kenya had 31 accredited universities scattered across the country.