University VCs raise concern over low number of professors
Vice-chancellors from various universities have raised concern over acute shortage of professors in the country, saying if not checked the low number might affect the quality of education and research in future.
Led by Prof Isaiah Wakindiki of KCA University, the dons lamented that the country currently has less than 1,000 professors despite having more than 100 universities and colleges that offer thousands of academic programmes.
Wakindiki noted that the low number of academic leaders to mentor scholars in the sector could not only hamper development of higher learning institutions but may also affect the quality of future education and research. “There is a huge deficit for professors, this is not unique to this university or the country but it is a global phenomenon meaning only the best will survive,” said Wakindiki.
He cited KCA University saying with the 50 academic programmes it is currently running, it has only five professors. “This University alone needs more than 100 professors but we have only managed to secure five. This means there is a huge deficit and only the best universities will survive in areas of research, innovations and many other areas of education,” Wakindiki said.
He was speaking during the university’s 15th graduation ceremony that saw 4051 conferred with degrees and awarded diplomas in various areas of specialisation.
He called on lecturers to further their education by doing more research and attain the Prof stature in order to save the future of departments and the quality of education in the country.
Prof Paul Wainaina of Kenyatta University had raised similar concerns last year, saying his institution had not secured enough professors in the last five years to replace those who retire or leave through other causes.
He pointed out that the Department of Education for instance had only four full and two associate professors.
He noted that the rest would be all gone in the coming years leaving the university at a crossroads in terms of education and research.
“The future of university education lies with its professors who are its think tanks. There used to be a time when we used to be like eight full professors and several associates. Now it’s worrying because I have just a few years left before I leave and I have not seen anyone close to a professor level,” he said.
He called on other universities to encourage and facilitate their lectures to upgrade their education to attain the professor level to be able to survive and maintain quality of education.