It is a sad state of affair to see universities that train professionals cannot exude the same in their operations.
To put it into perspective, most universities offer courses in finance management, yet they find themselves culprits of the complete opposites. Public universities are in financial turmoil due to underfunding, embezzlement, and a failure to generate revenue.
As of June, these universities have accumulated debts totaling approximately Sh56 billion. The problem keeps getting bigger if no action is taken, this piece outlines a raft of measures they can employ to cut on cost and work towards remaining afloat.
To begin with, reducing administrative costs would go a long way. Universities can review their administrative and support staff positions to identify areas where they can reduce costs, such as by streamlining processes or consolidating departments.
This can also be done through outsourcing certain non-core functions, such as IT support or facility management, to external service providers. This in return reduces the number of staff needed to manage these functions in-house. The cost can also be reduced by Collaborating with other universities to share resources, such as facilities and staff. The partnership between The Catholic University of Eastern Africa and its affiliate and constituent collages is a live example that this kind of collaboration is achievable.
Secondly, implementing cost-saving technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence to streamline operations and reduce labor costs. With Covid 19 setting precedence for online education, universities can offer more courses and programs online to reduce the need for physical classrooms and buildings, which can save on maintenance and utilities.
Riara group of schools can be flaunted for maximizing on this with their fairly good virtual sessions of learning. Other tech related measures include Energy-efficient buildings, equipment and virtual meetings and events.
Thirdly, negotiating better rates for goods and services could be a game changer. Universities can leverage on their size and purchasing power hence they can negotiate lower prices for goods and services that they regularly purchase, such as office supplies, energy, and telecommunications. There are a myriad of ways to do this. Universities can seek out competitive bids from multiple vendors to ensure they are getting the best deal. They can also join group purchasing organizations (GPOs) or consortiums, which allow them to pool their purchasing power and negotiate better rates with vendors.
Lastly, Corruption in the management of Kenyan universities is a serious issue that has had far-reaching consequences for the institutions and the people they serve. It can take many forms, such as embezzlement of funds, nepotism, and bribery, and it can undermine the integrity and credibility of the universities leaving them crippled.
To address corruption in the management of Kenyan universities, it is important for the institutions to have strong policies and systems in place to prevent and address corrupt behavior. This can include measures such as transparent financial management, regular audits, and a code of conduct for university officials.
In conclusion, universities cutting costs can be a necessary measure in order to ensure financial stability and sustainability.
However, it is important for universities to carefully consider the potential impacts of these cost-cutting measures on students, faculty, and staff. While cost-cutting may lead to long-term financial gains, it can also have negative consequences such as reduced access to resources and support for students, and decreased job security and job satisfaction for faculty and staff.
Ultimately, finding a balance between financial stability and the needs and well-being of the university community is crucial for the success and prosperity of the institution.