The University of Nairobi (UoN) has emerged as Kenya's higher learning institution that has heavily invested in research, a study by CPS Research International indicates.
The study, which was released Tuesday, indicates that UoN leads in the volume of publications, citations and referrals at 39.7 percent, followed by Kenyatta University, Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) at 11.3 percent, 10.5 percent and 8.9 percent respectively.
"Therefore, there seems to be a correlation between volume of research and volume of publications by a university in Kenya," read the study.
The study also indicates that 69.71 percent of the total research funds disbursed to institutions of higher learning by governments, institutions, NGOs and other donors were given to top 10 national universities.
TOP 10 UNIVERSITIES
"From the survey, the top 10 public universities received a total of Sh1.53 billion compared to Sh117 million received by top 10 private universities. These funds were given to universities towards research by government, institutional own funds, and county for the academic year 2018. The study indicate that in the academic year 2017/2018, universities received an approximate value of Sh1.85 billion from government for research.
"They also got Sh1.16 billion from industry, donors and other sources. The government thus happens to be the largest contributor of funds geared towards research in Kenyan universities," reads the report titled 'The state of research funding in Kenyan universities' that was released by Herman Manyora, the lead researcher.
Based on research funds survey, UoN tops the list with a total value of Sh0.56 billion, representing 17.7 percent of total research funds received in 2018.
Other universities which followed were Kenyatta University (15 percent), Moi University (9.9percent), Jkuat (7.8 percent), Egerton University (4.0 percent), Maseno University (3.6 percent), Strathmore University (3.3 percent), Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (3.0 percent) and Mount Kenya University (2.9 percent) in their descending order of gain.
Strathmore University and Mount Kenya University were the only private institutions that appeared among the top 10.
The study shows that 68 percent of the funding for Kenyan universities is from government (national and county) and internal sources compared to 32 percent which comes from industry, NGOs and other donors.
"From the survey findings, 1.4 percent of all universities did not receive any research funds either from government or from other sources. Again, 4.2 percent of these universities failed to receive government research funds but instead were funded by industry and other donors. It can, therefore, be observed that these universities though few (5.6 percent) point to the state of research underfunding in the higher education sector in Kenya," reads the report.
Mr Manyora asked the government to consider increasing funding for universities, saying the current budget is not sufficient.
"We have to take research seriously the way other institutions such as multinationals have taken it," said Mr Manyora.