The proposed establishment of a Sh250 million Open University of Kenya has raised concerns among Members of Parliament.
The legislators questioned the rationale behind the decision to set up the Open University of Kenya, which will be located at the Jomo Kenyatta University Of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
The issue was brought up when the State Department for Higher Education appeared before the National Assembly Education committee on Friday.
The committee vice chairman, Malulu Injendi, expressed scepticism about the project and asked why there was a need to invest in an Open University when existing higher education institutions were already struggling.
“You are painting a negative picture of universities. When even Higher Education Loans Board and other universities don’t have money, you’re raising money to build an Open University,” Injendi said.
The Malava MP went on to say that the government should invest in existing struggling institutions rather than creating new ones.
“I thought you invest in what you already have. Why are you building another one yet we have some struggling?” he said.
The proposed Open University of Kenya will operate like other institutions, but it will only have virtual classes.
The government is set to spend Sh250 million in setting up the university.
Only time will tell whether this new venture will be a success or a burden on the already struggling higher education system in Kenya.