Determinants of the trend of demand for and supply of university education in Kenya
Madanji, Gabriel O.
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The purpose of this study was to identify the determinants of the trend of demand for and supply of university education in Kenya. The demand for university education keeps on increasing every year to the extent the supply of university education is unable to cope with this trend of ever increasing number of qualified students. The study objectives were to establish the level and nature of programmes offered, identity the factors affecting trend of demand and supply of university education, determine the challenges facing demand and supply and develop strategies for addressing the challenges associated with to the trends of demand and supply of university education. The study will have theoretical and practical implications which will contribute to advancement of knowledge and provide strategies for addressing challenges facing university education. The study applied the theory of demand and supply of McConnell (1999) as a guide to this research. The research employed a descriptive survey design, which is concerned with the generalized statistics that result when data is abstracted from respondents. The research instruments were questionnaires and interview schedules used to collect data. The instruments were piloted and validity verified. Reliability was also verified where the correlation coefficient of +0.72 was established. Out of thirty one universities, only seven (four public and three private universities) were sampled. The target population was 1717, comprising of university administrators, students and informed specialists from both public and private universities. These also included officials from Commission of University Education and Ministry of Higher Education. Simple random sampling was used to get a total of 595 respondents as the sample for the study. In relation to ethical consideration permission from the graduate school and the Ministry of Education was sought to make this research successful. Data analysis was done using the Social Package for Statistical Science (SPSS). Both qualitative and quantitative data analysis was used to analyze the data. The findings were presented through descriptive statistics by use of frequencies, tables, graphs and pie-charts. The analysis was on the determinants of demand and supply of university education. The study found out that university education is expensive and costs incurred by both the student and the government cannot be sustained. Further the study established that the government is not clear on how much it is willing to invest in university education. That all programmes ranging from certificate to doctorate level are available in the universities but most of them are in the discipline of social sciences as opposed to pure sciences. The main challenge was inadequacy the human and capital resources to foster university education that are core to efficiency, economic development, access and provision of quality education. The study recommends that university education should be quality, relevant and cost-effective to determine the nation’s economic prosperity. The stakeholders should make sure that university education is responsive, adoptive, and proactive so as to make full use of resources. In relation to financing, the government should introduce new funding strategies to promote efficiency, quality and accountability. Based on recommendations, the study proposes that similar studies should be carried out on the policies guiding demand and supply of university education in relation to quality and access. Further, a study on the demand and supply of tertiary and middle level colleges and their impact on education was also recommended.