Kenya's Universities Eliminate More Than 5,000 Nonteaching Jobs

Kenya's Universities Eliminate More Than 5,000 Nonteaching Jobs

 

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Friday, April 6, 2001

By WACHIRA KIGOTHO

Nairobi, Kenya

 

Kenya's six public universities are eliminating more than 5,000 nonteaching jobs in a move to cut costs.

 

Nonteaching workers in the six public universities -- Egerton, Kenyatta, and Moi Universities; Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology; Maseno University College; and the University of Nairobi -- account for 75 percent of the institutions' work force.

 

The layoffs started this week, and positions will continue to be identified for elimination through June. The massive retrenchment program is expected to reduce the universities' work force from the current 17,300 to 12,000 workers. The move will enable universities to save up to about $10-million each year and use it to improve the quality of teaching and research.

 

Most of those whose positions are being eliminated are janitors, cleaners, drivers, accountants, secretaries and clerks, administrative assistants, security guards, and assistant registrars. Chris Okemo, Kenya's finance minister, said public universities had too many unskilled and semiskilled workers, as well as a bloated bureaucracy of administrators that could no longer be sustained.

 

While government officials believe that there are some teaching positions that are no longer needed, no layoffs are planned for faculty members.

 

Copyright 2001 by The Chronicle of Higher Education