President Uhuru Kenyatta has put a stop to the establishment of new universities in Kenya till further notice.
The President issued the directive after he awarded charters to eight new universities in a ceremony at State House, Nairobi.
He said the stop to the establishment of new universities would help strengthen existing institutions and provide more technical and vocational training.
The government will also have the opportunity to give emphasis to improving the quality of education.
“Our focus now must be strengthening the institutions that we have, building their resilience and ensuring sustained quality.”
“These institutions have to be globally competitive in their operations and service delivery. Quantity at the expense of quality has a potential to harm our country.”
The eight new universities awarded charters are University of Embu in Embu County, KAG East University in Kajiado County, Rongo University in Migori County and the Cooperative University of Kenya in Nairobi County.
The others are Murang’a University of Technology in Murang’a County, Taita Taveta University in Taita-Taveta County, Machakos University in Machakos County and Kirinyaga University in Kirinyaga County.
Garissa University was meant to be the ninth university to get their charter on Friday but President Kenyatta will use the opportunity to send a message of resilience to terrorists.
President Kenyatta said he would personally travel to Garissa to deliver the certification.
The elaborate ceremony also saw the installation of chancellors of the new universities. The chancellors are Fred Ojiambo (Kirinyaga University), Joseph Nyaga (Cooperative University), Mohamed Y Elmi (Rongo University) and Sally Kosgei (Taita-Taveta University).
The others are James Mworia (Machakos University), Musili Wambua (Embu University), Philista Onyango and Peter Njiiri (KAG East University).
President Kenyatta went on to caution the newly appointed Chancellors to guard against tribalism and uphold national values.
”Our universities have a special role to play in nation building: they challenge our parochial concerns, they expose us to Kenyans of different origins and experiences; and they teach us the value of our nationhood. But they cannot do that if they are held back by nepotism and tribalism.” said the President.