Factors That Affect Quality of Teaching Staff in Universities in Kenya

Joseph Obwogi


Quality in higher education has been important for decades. In Kenya, quality in universities was embraced some years back by facilitating the vigorous vetting of programmes; matching the programmes with the existing capacity and competent sourcing of human resources to run the programmes. The study sought to determine the factors affecting quality of teaching staff in universities. Descriptive design was adopted with eight universities/university colleges considered for the sample. Stratified random sampling was used and a total of 120 questionnaires were administered. Out of these, 102 questionnaires were returned. Analysis was done and a number of tests done using varied statistical tools.Research findings indicate that human resource management (HRM) practices at universities remains the biggest challenge to quality. Some of the HRM activities like feedback on performance and recommendation for training/couching are poor. The applicability of HRM tools in driving university activities such as use of performance based management, reward and motivation is minimal. The findings also indicated a mismatch between resource allocation by the Government and growth in student population. The staff capacity constraints in both the established universities and the constituent colleges continue to be felt. Teaching facilities are getting overstretched thus reducing quality as found in this research. Also, contribution of university staff to society in terms of research and technology transfer is also demeaning. The university teaching staffs are not adequately facilitated in research and publications. The need to address human resource management (HRM) gaps as well encourage continuous professional development of the teaching staff is therefore urgent. Universities need to set aside proportional amount of funds for staff development, so as to encourage staff to continuously undertake research and publications. A review of remuneration and work environment will also discourage brain drain and motivate teaching staff. Of importance also is- 3 - 3embracing e-leaning as a model for knowledge dissemination at universities. E-content development is a clear driver that will facilitate greater outreach for university education in Kenya, and attend to the long-term human resource gaps that cannot be adequately addressed with the growth in demand for higher education in Kenya.


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