Government Urged To Extend Funding To Private Universities

Private Universities have called on the government to provide a fair funding model for all institutions of higher learning in the country, with a view to cushioning parents from the current hard economic times. Zetech University Vice Chancellor Prof Njenga Munene has said the country cannot afford to have a divisive approach in education for the common good of not only students but also the country, especially at this time when the cost of living has hit the roof. Speaking during the institution's 7th graduation ceremony at their Mang'u Main Campus, Prof. Munene while applauding the support the institution has gotten from the Government so far, said the fair treatment of all universities would make higher learning attractive, thus enabling the country to earn foreign exchange from international students. The VC said the university has over the years enjoyed support from the Ministry of Education, the University Funding Board, the Higher Education Loans Board, the University and Colleges Central Placement Board, and the Commission for University Education and called for continued collaboration. He said the cost of living had impacted negatively on parents and other sponsors, making it hard for them to continue financing the education of their children, hence the need for government support. 'We need to have a collaborative approach as it has been the case before, where our students have benefitted. The country cannot afford to have a divisive approach to education in areas of funding. We need to support all universities to become sources of revenue,' said Prof Munene. According to the new funding model, students from private universities will not be eligible for scholarships unlike those in public universities, and will only get funding to a certain limit. On new programmes to make their students fit into the job market, the VC said they have introduced new courses in areas of Information, Communication and Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, and Computing which are in high demand. 'The w orld is shifting fast towards ICT, thus the need to leverage our programmes to enable our students to become marketable,' he said. Microsoft Africa Development Center CEO Catherine Muraga who was the Chief Guest, expressed the need for all universities to come up with courses on technology to remain relevant and make their students marketable. At the same time, Muraga called on corporate leaders to mentor and give employment opportunities to fresh graduates. 'Our companies must adapt to new ways of working, not only by adopting new technologies but also by listening to the wishes of the younger generation and by continuously training them to join our teams. Technological breakthroughs are transforming our companies, changing the way we produce, and disrupting our organizations and young minds are at the forefront of this revolution,' she said.