Kenyan Universities not investing enough in research funding – Study

Kenyan universities are not investing enough in research funding.

This is according to a new study by CPS Research International that pointed out that the inability of the government to shoulder the budget of all researches and an increasing focus on science-related research is detrimental to research in other fields.

CPS Research International is a Market and Social Research Company that has cut a niche in specialized research in various parts of the world, with an aim of meeting specific demands of each undertaking.

Of the 71 institutions of higher learning in the country, a paltry 3.5% confirmed to have more than 100 academic staff who are actively engaged in research work while more than 18% of the Kenyan universities admitted to having less than 10% staff doing research.

Additionally, the study by CPS Research International revealed that only 65% of universities in Kenya own research laboratories and incubation centers while the rest only hire these facilities when needed.

This indicate that there is lack of adequate infrastructure and preparation to handle research that require laboratories and incubators in at least 35% of the institutions.

Only 34% of Kenyan universities have 20-39 staff fully active in research while only 8% of these institutions have 50-79 qualified academic staff for research.

The findings reveal that Kenyan universities averagely received Ksh. 43.38 million from government, industry, NGOs and self-funding for research programmes while the top 25% of all the universities received about Ksh. 26.67 million each towards research.

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Additionally, about 75% of all universities were funded to a tune of Ksh. 16.38 million each for their research.

By statistical inference, the minimum threshold for funding research at any university in Kenya is about Ksh. 19.5 million.

Hence, the universities (53.3%) that received below Ksh. 20 million towards research had almost negligible funding.

This represents a huge gap in terms of access to research funds in the Kenyan universities.

To bridge the gap, the report implores the government to uphold its commitment to double research spending to 2% of GDP, as part of Vision 2030 – Kenya’s national economic development strategy.

Currently US, Singapore, Israel, Germany, Korea Republic spend 2.8%, 2.2%, 4.3%, 2.4%, and 4.3% respectively on research sectors as shown by the UNESCO data.

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