Kenya's oldest University is planning to let go hundreds of its staff because it is admitting 'too many' students on public programme

Treasury slashed allocation to the institution by Sh1.7 billion in the current financial year to Sh4.5 billion.

Vice-chancellor Peter Mbithi Tuesday said the institution, Kenya's top ranked public university was struggling with cash flow hitch and would not renew contracts for staff hired on temporary terms, including lecturers following a decline in private student enrolment and State funding.

“Module II programme or self-sponsored students have reduced at the university to almost half.

“There have been requests from the departments to reduce staff that have been working under this programme and we are looking at them,” said Prof Mbithi.

The cash crush has been brought about by public universities admitting students who scored C+ and above over for the past two years, a group of students who traditionally had relied on private programmes, as a result of few number of high school students attaining the cut mark.

This has cut the cash flow of universities such as the UoN whose parallel programme has in the past been a key source of revenue.

Similarly, Treasury slashed allocation to the institution by Sh1.7 billion ($17m) in the current financial year to Sh4.5 billion ($45m).

“We get money from the National Treasury but it’s not even enough to pay our staff and we have to use our internal revenues to top up,” said Prof Mbithi.

Prof Mbithi, did not disclose the number of staff whose contracts would not be renewed but the nuber could run into their hundreds since the institution has the highest number of employees both teaching and non-teaching in the country.

A joint report by universities and workers union leaders, which was released last year revealed that the institution had 4,945 staff.

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