Kisii University has closed its Kabarnet town campus and two others for failing to meet the standards of the Commission for University Education.
A letter seen by the Star on Wednesday says the university council met and decided to shut down Kitale, Migori and Kabarnet campuses.
“This is to inform you that during the 111th University management board meeting on February 21, 2018, the university board approved the closure of [these] campuses by May 1, 2018.”
The letter asks the institutions to make arrangements for the release of all university property by May 31. This should be done before leases terminate so the university does not incur extra costs.
The letter was signed by university Vice-Chancellor John Akama.
Students at the Kabarnet campus protested the move accusing college director Chang’masa Sogomo of remaining mum on the matter.
“He has not told us anything. We don’t care if the campus is closed but want to the university council to tell us where to go to carry on with our studies,” said student Mathew Borois.
Sogomo told reporters he had not received official communication on the closure.
The announcement came days after the Star carried a story on the sacking of 11 staff being laid under unclear circumstances.
Sogomo attributed the sacking to low enrollment.
“We had over 1,000 students last year but today we have less than 500 so it is getting difficult to retain a huge number of staff,” he said.
The learners extended their protest to the office of Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, from whom they demanded the way forward.
Kiptis urged them to go back to college as their leaders discuss their plight.
“I am not for the idea of closing down the university. If there are small challenges, they ought to be ironed out and students allowed to continue with their studies.”
Among the challenges bedevilling the campuses is the non-payment of lecturers, which has led to lack of teaching and the retention of students’ transcripts. Last year, some 300 students did not qualify for graduation for lack of these documents.
The university is also under pressure to have standard classrooms, enough lecturers, well-equipped digitised libraries and rams for the physically challenged.