UoN tops list of universities' research funding

The University of Nairobi Towers on January 31, 2017./FILE
The University of Nairobi Towers on January 31, 2017./FILE

The University of Nairobi is the most funded to initiate research projects for various academic disciplines, a study has revealed.

The study by CPS International showed the institution leading at Sh537.95 million followed by Kenyatta University which received Sh456 million in the period under study.

The monies were cumulatively sought from the national and county government as well as from NGOs and other business entities.

CPS rated Moi University in position three, having obtained Sh302 million with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology at Sh236.49 million.

Also in the top ten in terms of funding is Egerton University (Sh122.35 million), Maseno University (Sh108.3 million), Strathmore (Sh100.8 million), Masinde Muliro (Sh90.57 million), Mount Kenya University (Sh86.6 million), and Aga Khan University at Sh75 million.

University of Eldoret and USIU got Sh70.3 million and Sh56 million respectively. The study revealed that KCA University got Sh51.7 million whereas the Technical University of Kenya obtained Sh50.05 million from the various sources of cash for research.

The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU), Laikipia University, Kisii University, University of Kabianga, and Management University of Africa (MUA) got Sh25 million to Sh29 million.

The study further highlights the funding gaps in universities' research citing that the minimum threshold for funding research at any university in Kenya is about Sh19.5 million.

"This represents a huge gap in terms of access to research funds in the Kenyan universities with only 46.7% of them receiving above Sh20 million for research."

The research also revealed that county governments are not funding or assisting universities in their various study needs. However, it is worth noting that university education is not among the devolved functions.

All the same, the study revealed that about 94.3% of the country's universities received research funds of less than Sh10 million from the county government while 5.7% got more than Sh 10 million during the period.


The survey neither stated the beneficiary universities nor the counties which allocated them the said monies.

The survey demonstrated that the availability of funds to respective universities has a great impact on the number of publications, citations and academic journal referrals for each university.

On this, the University of Nairobi leads in the volume of publications, citations and referrals at 39.7 per cent followed by Kenyatta University, Moi University, and JKUAT at 11.3 per cent.

The study further reveals that Kenya lacks well-established research policies, a situation that has seen various works duplicated.

"The lack of an integrated center of communication among researchers leads to duplication of research works under the same topic at the same time but in different parts of universities," the report reads in part.

"This is an indicator that the country lacks efficient ways of regulating resources allocated for research. Within universities, there are no clear policies to guide research, especially with regards to allocation to researchers."

The team advised scholars to embrace public-private-partnerships to bridge the funding gaps. They also asked universities to increase the volume of their research publications and to increase the number of staff devoted to research.

"Kenyan universities research programmes should align their research programmes that help the country move towards vision 2030 achievement," the report states.