The CS cautioned universities over fee increase after University of Nairobi (UoN) Stephen Kiama stated that the institution did not need the CS’ approval to institute the changes it had planned.
He noted that during his time at UoN there was a research facility that brought in Ksh5 billion increasing the institution’s overall budget to Ksh21 billion.
Magoha stated that though universities needed reforms they had to be done in consultation with the government and not at the impulse of individuals delegated with the mandate to manage them.
He further explained that neither President Uhuru Kenyatta nor himself as the CS delegated the mandate of reforming institutions of higher learning to the chairs of the university councils or the vice-chancellors.
But Kiama had earlier argued that the changes at UoN were done by the University Council which does not need Magoha’s nod.
The VC further argued that the scrapping of the colleges was done by the University Council which did not violate the charters of the university. UoN had moved to abolish six colleges and condensed all 35 faculties into 11 to avoid duplication of courses.
In another raft of changes, the institution more than doubled tuition fees – a move that was frozen by Magoha.
To deal with the huge debt the institution is facing, Kiama also made some leadership changes. He created the position of associate vice-chancellor.
Kiama further in a direct message to Magoha, stated that the changes made at UoN were legally bound by their charter.
In furtherance of the battle for dominance, Kiama added that the University read the letter sent by CS Magoha and made proper interpretation, and ruled out any conflict.
However, all changes introduced by the UoN were stopped after Magoha put a halt to all restructuring in public universities.
The Education CS explained that the ministry had not been consulted and no gazettement had been done.
In a letter dated June 14, Magoha told vice-chancellors, principals of constituent colleges, chairpersons of institutions, and councils of constituent colleges, that the proposed reviews need university charters to either be amended or done through legal notice.