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The crisis of governance in Kenya's public universities: reflections on national politics and institutional decline

Munene, Irunugu

Abstract:
On November 29,1993 — in a landmark protest —the academic staff of Kenya's public universities went on an indefinite strike to press for the recognition and registration of their newly launched Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU).  This marked the apogee of the crisis of governance that has engulfed these institutions since the first university was established in 1963, the year of Kenya's independence.  In a more significant sense it brought together, albeit in a bellicose atmosphere, the four actors in this crisis: 1, the government; 2, the university administrations; 3, the academic staff; and 4, the student community. This paper seeks to delineate the genesis of the governance crisis in these universities, and its possible remedies.  As a starting point, the author examines the state-university relationships in Africa and how they interact with the wider socio-political environment.  It is equally pertinent, the author says, to identify the major sources of conflict in African universities as they relate to the question of governance.  Munene highlights the significances of university governance as well as the sources of conflict in fragile polities.  An in-depth discussion is included which focusses on Kenya's public universities and its relationship with the state.  The author attempts to illustrate how the privatization of political power has inevitably manifested itself with the university set up.

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Chapter Title: The crisis of governance in Kenya's public universities: reflections on national politics and institutional decline
City: Gabarone, Botswana
Publisher: South African Comparative and History of Education Society (SACHES)


Date:1996
Document Type:Chapter in Book (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:Kenya
Keywords:Kenya, Universities, State and Higher Education, Administration, Academic Staff, Students, Academic Freedom, Autonomy, Decision Making, Funding of Higher Education


File Size:78 KB
Rights:Permission to reproduce this chapter was granted by the author.
Date Added:19 March 2007


Munene, Irunugu (1996). The crisis of governance in Kenya's public universities: reflections on national politics and institutional decline. In P.T.M. Marope and S. G. Weeks (eds), Educational and national development in Southern Africa, Gabarone, Botswana: Southern African Comparative and History of Education Society (SACHES), 41-51