The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) is set to shut down its two Campuses in a move that is part of the internal restructuring the institution is currently undertaking. According the university’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Justus Mbae the restructuring process is part of the implementation of the turnaround strategy that is meant to counter the financial difficulties the institution is currently facing.
The two campuses include the Nairobi City Campus and the Kisumu Campus in Western Kenya. Prof. Mbae told AMECEA Online News in an interview that the university had to do this because it was spending too much on those colleges yet there were no good returns in terms of business for sustainability.
“For Nairobi City Campus we have been paying a lot in terms of rent yet it is only 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) from the main campus, so what we are doing is to try to get the students to come to the main campus in Langata, which is in the outskirts of the city,” Prof. Mbae explained.
The case of Kisumu Campus is however a little different; although the university owns the premises therefore do not pay rent, the property is very small and has no prospects for growth because there is no room for expansion. According to the Don, there is very little activities going on at the campus during the day as most students usually take evening classes.
“We are just thinking that this is not a good business. It is making very little in terms of income, it just breakeven; yet we have to do better than just breakeven because we have to pay the lecturers and the non-teaching staff to keep the campus going; so it is really not cost effective to keep it going. We regret the decision but sometimes you have to think about the future of the institution and its sustainability and these calls for painful decisions that have to be made,” Prof Mbai explained.
He further said that the decision to close the two campuses came as a coincidence with the directive of the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Education urging Universities to concentrate on their main campuses.
Speaking on Wednesday November 15 at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies during a meeting to review the growth of public universities in the country, Dr Fred Matiang’i, the Education Cabinet Secretary said the universities will now be required to focus on strengthening the existing campuses. The Ministry of Education has stopped public universities from setting up more satellite campuses with immediate effect.
As part of the turnaround strategy, Prof. Mbae added that CUEA needs more students and therefore intend to pay particular attention to the AMECEA Region because that is the reason for which the institution was founded.
“We think the AMECEA Region itself can really be a good source especially if we can get some support in recruiting more students to come to CUEA, we will be looking for that,” he said adding that they also intend to tap into the international market and plans to do so are already underway.
By Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Online News