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Crisis in the public universities in Kenya

Sifuna, Daniel


The history of higher education for Kenyans until the mid-1950's begins with a story about the Makarere College in Uganda.  The author provides us with an introduction which outlines the origins of Kenyan Institutes of higher education.  Sifuna defines the concepts "university autonomy" and " academic freedom " which, it is claimed, are very much dependent on the country's prevailing political system.  In order to have a clear picture of the nature of the crisis that is facing public universities in Kenya, the author discusses in detail the state of the political system in the country.  An historical overview of Kenya's Presidency since 1963 follows including that of various political parties that were formed and violently resisted.  In response to this upheaval, the new President passed detention laws.  The author pursues a discussion on a pro-democracy movement that started to take shape with the onset of President Kenyatta's demise.  Although Universities enjoyed some autonomy, the President of Kenya remained as Chancellor and could intervene in university affairs without consultation.  The chapter further contains an  overview of the system of university govenance that seriously undermined the public university's autonomy and academic freedom.  Budgetry issues as well as the quality of education offered at universities where the author includes a description of educational facilities and resources conclude the chapter. 

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Chapter Title: Crisis in the public universities in Kenya
City: London, United Kingdom
Publisher: Cassell Publications

Document Type:Chapter in Book (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Keywords:Kenya, Higher Education and the State, Higher Education Institutions HEI s, Academic Freedom, Autonomy, Governance, State Intervention, Quality of Higher Education, Political Leaders

File Size:87 KB
Rights:Permission to reproduce this chapter was granted by the editor, Keith Watson, to whom copyright has been transferred.
Date Added:07 March 2007

Sifuna, Daniel (1997). Crisis in the public universities in Kenya. In Keith Watson, Celia Modgil and Sohan Modgil ( eds ), Educational dilemmas: debate and diversity, volume two, reforms in higher education, London:United Kingdom, 219-229.