Higher Education Minister Margaret Kamar (C) with Red Cross Governor Paul Birech (R) and URP Aspirant for Kapsaret Oscar Sudi at a recent education a function in Eldoret
Two colleges in Eldoret are among those listed by government for upgrading into public universities.
Minister for Higher Education Margaret Kamar who spoke to The Star yesterday said Eldoret Polytechnic has been earmarked to be upgraded into a technical university college and Chepkoilel College which has been part of Moi University will now be a fully fledged university.
"The ministry recognizes the need for more training facilities in the country in order to help speed up creation of manpower to help the country industrialise faster," she said.
She said the government plans to spend Sh6 billion to upgrade 12 colleges to universities. The upgrading of the colleges will increase to 20 the number of public universities in the country.
The upgrading will also increase the intake of students to the universities by more than 40 percent. The new universities will start admitting students next year.
Colleges which have been selected for upgrading include Kisii, Chuka, Kimathi, Kenya Polytechnic, Mombasa Polytechnic, Pwani, South Eastern, Meru, Narok, Kabianga, Bondo and Chepkoilel.
"We have been limiting admissions to our universities because of the few places we have caused by low capacity at the universities but our new plan is to upgrade the colleges and expand them so that they admit more students," she said.
The Commission for Higher Education had however approved 25 colleges to be upgraded but the government picked 12 on the list and Kamar says the upgrading will be continued at the other colleges as the expansion plan is rolled out.
More than 118,000 qualified to join universities this year but only half of them will get places because of the limited capacity and the existing public universities.
Currently the existing public universities include Moi, Jommo Kenyatta, Nairobi, Egerton, Maseno and Masinde Muliro.
The expansion of the universities will also be supported by development partners who have pledged to provide resources for expansion of existing facilities.