Cash-strapped UoN bans tea during meetings, cooking in student hostels
The University of Nairobi has announced austerity measures, top among them a crackdown on students who cook inside hostels.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi has directed staff at the institution to increase surveillance and regular inspections of cooking in students hostels.
“Monitor to ensure no cooking in hostels. Students should be sensitized on the use of facilities,” reads revenue enhancement and austerity measures on expenditure report tabled before the University Senate on Thursday.
The university banned students from cooking in hostels in 2016 but enforcement remains a mirage.
Prof Mbithi also directed that the joint meter reading be enforced as well as installation of sensor lights, adoption of other alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind or biogas, use of flood lights and energy saving bulbs among others.
Others are power factor capacities installation, sensitization to staff and students on the importance of switching off unnecessary lights and automatic switch off of computers not in use. This is expected to save the institution Sh12million per year.
He also want joint water meter reading to be enforced, carrying out inspection of water pipes to establish underground leakages and this will lead to saving of Sh6 million.
The VC also wants enhanced use of VoiP handsets across the university. He also directed that fuel cards allocation be reduced, discourage fuel card top ups and install vehicle tracking system in all new vehicles for control.
The staff at the institution will also be required to use the university space (UoN Tower) and vacate from leased premises.
The University is also to cut down on outsourced security services and will be engaging the service of National Youth Services (NYS).
TEA AND SNACKS
Lecturers from Nairobi will also not travel for lessons in Kisumu and Mombasa campuses; instead the university will go for part time lecturers.
There will also be a limit on travel outside the country as well as consolidation of adverts to minimize costs.
“Printing on both sides of the paper, use email, print only when necessary, make meetings short, remove tea and snacks in meetings except Senate,” the report further recommends.
There will also be fully implement of an online food and beverage control system and full implementation of catering management information system, among others.
The latest move is a bold step by the management of the University to ensure good financial practice in face of dwindling exchequer funding.
Universities have also been hit by a reduction in the number of self-sponsored students since exam reforms reduced the number of candidates making it to universities.