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Kenya: new bill to regulate the higher education sector

A new bill establishing new bodies to regulate the higher education sector in Kenya was published on 24 September. This new bill, known as ‘The Universities Bill 2012’, sets out provisions for the establishment, accreditation, governance and funding of public and private universities in Kenya.

The main change introduced by The Universities Bill is the abolishment of the former Commission for Higher Education and its replacement by the new Commission for University Education, which will be vested with a wider range of powers. The Commission for University Education will be responsible for various functions, including advising the government on higher education policy, monitoring and assessing the university education system in relation to national goals, licensing student recruitment agencies and activities of foreign institutions, undertaking inspections, monitoring and evaluating universities, among other tasks. The Commission will be formed of a chairperson, the principal secretary of the ministry responsible for university education, the principal secretary in the ministry responsible for finance, five appointed members and a Commission secretary.

The bill also provides for the establishment of two other bodies. The first, the Universities Fund, will be responsible for providing funds for financing universities. The second, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service, will coordinate the placement of the government sponsored students in higher education institutions, will collect data on university and college placements, will advise the government on issues relating to student placements in universities and will develop career guidance programmes for students.

This bill is under debate in the Kenyan Parliament and is foreseen to enter into force in early 2013. The Universities Bill 2012