NCIC Releases the 2016 Ethnic and Diversity Audit of Public Universities in Kenya
The Commission finally released its 2016 Ethnic and Diversity Audit Report of all public Universities in Kenya, at a function held at the Nairobi Safari Club Hotel on 7th December 2016. In attendance were the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology officials, Vice Chancellors and Chairpersons of the Boards of all universities, and NCIC Commissioners.
The report is the second Audit undertaken in public universities and constituent colleges after the first which was carried out in 2012. It is based on an analysis of the data that was submitted to NCIC by 22 universities and nine constituent university colleges on their employees and the ethnic affiliation of the employees as at May 2016. The employees through the universities and constituent colleges were provided with forms to fill for self-identification and ethnic affiliation as required by the law.
The study revealed the most compliant universities included Multi Media University, Technical University of Kenya, Egerton University, University of Nairobi and Co-operative University College, which hired less than 33.3% of their employees from one ethnic group. On the contrary, the worst contravening universities included Kirinyaga University College, Kibabii University, Murang’a University College, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University and Rongo University College with more than 70% of their employees from one ethnic group.
Nonetheless, the study noted a general improvement in representation of diversity within public universities and constituent colleges from the status as recorded in 2012. Additionally, the study revealed that the largest ethnic group recruited as employees in these institutions of higher learning is the Kikuyu which forms 23.6%. This is within the limits of the threshold set up by the law.
It notes that some communities have a higher proportion within university employment when the proportion of ethnic communities in employment is compared with their proportion in national population. These communities include the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin, Kisii and Luo communities. The study also revealed that some communities were under-represented in university employment. These include Turkana, Maasai, Kenyan Somali, Kamba and Mijikenda among others. It was also evident that certain communities such as the Dasenach and the Gosha were completely excluded from university employment.
Nevertheless, the general trend showed that representation of diversity in universities has improved with the inclusion of certain communities that were totally excluded in 2012 such as the Orma. Additionally, minority communities such as the Ilchamus have increased their numbers in employment in institutions of higher learning.
In the recommendations, the study encourages Universities to embrace fair employment and affirmative action strategies, represent ethnic inclusion principles in teaching, research, and program administration, ban tribal groups and associations among students, and teach value education geared to entrenching value systems. It also recommends to the Ministry of Education to draw the leadership of Universities from anywhere within the country as long as the candidate has qualified. Furthermore, it noted the need for the NCIC to enhance the capacity of recruiting agents for universities, lobby for strict punitive measures to be put in place to ensure compliance, and work closely with the national cohesion and integration committees set up by public universities.