Egerton University has given her students four days to pack and leave for an early Christmas holiday. The poor students have until Tuesday 30th November 2021 to vacate the university premises.
The funny thing is that the whole saga has nothing to do with the students. Kenyans cannot count the number of times the university’s senate has closed the institution down ‘indefinitely’.
According to a disappointed final year student, the lecturers have boycotted classes for three weeks now. The students have been idle in the university with classes bouncing left, right and centre.
Just like those of Moi University, Egerton University lecturers are demanding a pay rise. But the University cannot meet their demands. It seems many public universities are in a financial crisis.
The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Egerton Chapter chairperson, Prof Mwaniki Ngari led his members to a peaceful demonstration recently. They marched to the Egerton University main campus, Njoro’s administration block.
Among their grievances was the highhandedness of the university administration. The leaders at the university are not open to divergent views from the academic staff.
According to a memo released by the university on Friday, the senate had reached a decision to close the institution. They will then work on a return to work formula that will be communicated to all parties involved.
The University management has insisted that there are insufficient funds in their accounts. Before Fred Matiang’i took over as the Education CS, universities used to raise a lot of money from the parallel programs.
That has not been the case since 2017. As from 2017, the government has been absorbing all students that scored a C+ and above. Even private universities now admit students through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement System (KUCCPS).
Egerton University’s Academic Registrar, Prof Mwanarusi Saidi released the memo. It has broken the hearts of those that were planning to graduate in December.
“We will communicate any important update through the university’s website, social media platforms or any other convenient means,” read the memo.