The United States International University (USIU-Africa) has announced a mass layoff that will see about ten percent of the staff sent home in yet another instance of toughening economic times in the country.
In an internal statement sent to staff, USIU cited the continued decline in enrolment of students while announcing that about 70 members of staff would be declared redundant.
This is as a result of the economic strain that the University is experiencing due to Covid-19 pandemic and other adverse trends in Kenya’s higher education industry.
The institution is a top secular private university in East and Central Africa, offering world-class degree programs in the region. It is also one of the top employers in the private-education-sector – directly employing 700 employees.
Upon the striking of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University was closed in accordance with the government’s directives and was among the first universities to adopt online learning, completing the disrupted semester on August 20.
Besides the government imposing strict measures to curb exam cheating in 2016 which led to fewer students qualifying to join universities, Covid-19 has also greatly affected its financial status.
The university has been experiencing a decline in enrolment for three years now.
The annual budget of USIU was estimated to have an annual deficit of Ksh313 million.
USIU has opted to rationalise its staff in order to sustain its operations which may result in outsourcing some of the support services and total abolishment or reduction in a number of roles.
In execution of the plan, the school’s Vice Chancellor said they would be guided by existing labour laws, human resource procedures with any court directives.
The details of those to be affected directly by this cause of action are being worked on and will be communicated to them.
Photo and video credit https://www.usiu.ac.ke