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Kenya: FPE burden on public universities

Moi University

Moi University

The Free Primary Education ( FPE) programme launched in 2003 is exerting a lot of pressure on public universities through millions of students seeking admission. Beneficiaries of the programmes, numbering millions across the country, are now transiting into universities, most of which were not prepared for these huge numbers.

Moi University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Richard Mibey, said many universities were caught unawares by the high number of students seeking higher education.

“Many Kenyans are not aware that the FPE actually exerted a lot of pressure on us because millions of pupils now transiting into university enrolled into the programme and many are bright children from poor backgrounds who have scored marks qualifying to join university,” he said.

He said the decision by Moi University to upgrade its constituent colleges and campuses into fully fledged universities while ensuring quality education has however played a big role in absorbing the high number of Form Four graduates from the FPE programme.

“We sat as a university back in 2003 when FPE was started and decided to prepare for this and we are pleased to say we have absorbed quite a huge number in our former campuses that are now chartered universities,” said the VC.

Mibey said in the last five years, the institution has facilitated the establishment of seven public universities upgraded from its constituent colleges and campuses. They include the latest, University of Eldoret that was upgraded from Moi University’s Chepkoilel campus.

Editorial and technical others include Masinde Muliro, Maasai Mara, Kabianga, Karatina, Rongo and Maseno University which has recently also given birth to Jaramogi Oginga Odinda University.

Mibey was speaking yesterday at his office when he signed a partnership deal with Standard Group CEO Sam Shollei for the development of the institution’s television station set for launch soon. Under the partnership, KTN will offer both editorial and technical expertise to the Moi University station, particularly in content development.

Mr Shollei praised strides made by Moi University in the expansion of higher education in the country, attributing it to its recent ranking as the number two best university in the country after the University of Nairobi. “This was a visionary move and it is without doubt that you are transforming this country by expanding access to higher and quality education and this will definitely change lives in Kenya,” he said.

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