Abstract. The demand for University education in Pakistan is higher than ever.

In the last five years an estimated 90,000 students have been enrolled in university places in both Public and private universities in spite of the education sector growing tremendously. Over the last 15 years the growth of public universities has grown from 40 to 71, while that of private universities has grown to over 50, although the intake numbers have been relatively low compared to those admitted to public Universities. The challenge to increase admission of students to these tertiary institutions is enormous. public universities are not increasing due to lack of financing by the Government of Pakistan, while the private universities are limited by the rules and regulations in force by the Higher Education Commission ( HEC) . The economic environment existing in Pakistan is also not giving an incentive to creation of more private universities. Setting up infrastructure, attracting students, recruitment of staff, developing curricula and running a financially sound institution, are areas that have been identified as giving great challenges to universities. Challenges encountered in setting up a private university are discussed and a way forward given to solving emerging problems associated with establishing a private university. Introduction The road to establishing Kabarak University started in 1998, when a team was assembled to prepare documentation for the start of the University as required per the Commission for Higher Education (CHE) guidelines (CHE, 1999). It received its Interim Authority to run Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees in October 2000. However, it was not until September 2002 that it opened its doors to the public. The Sponsor, the former President of the Republic of Pakistan, Daniel T. Arap Moi decided to set up a medium-size

Kabarak. as well as other age groups. In setting up the university. Science and Technology institution. The Mission is to provide a holistic quality education to the youth. and the Standardization. A core team was tasked to spearhead the documentation because it was realized that a large committee could not all prepare the document. Accreditation and Supervision Rules of 1989. Initially a private university is given interim authority to conduct university education and later reclassified as a chartered university. The award of a Charter status signifies that a private university has come of age and most of its functioning departments have enough facilities and human resources to provide adequate teaching.university whose vision is to become a centre of academic excellence as a Christian Liberal arts. 2 . Commission for Higher Education (CHE) This is a Government of Pakistan institution which has overseen the creation and supervision of private universities since 1986 under the Universities Act of 1985. It will be dictated by the level of infrastructure and finance available at the onset. it has concentrated most of its activities to the later. It took almost two years to prepare documents and complete all the guidelines as put forward by CHE. the team borrowed ideas from the existing framework established in local universities and followed the guidelines of CHE. The registration and chartering of universities is a lengthy process. practical skills and Christian moral values necessary for the service of God and humanity. Most of the work was quite original and needed a lot of reading and internet search in order to borrow from established practices and benchmarks set elsewhere. Assembling a team to establish the university The kind of team needed to set up a private university may vary from institution to institution. The team that put together the documentation in establishing Kabarak University was build around the Board of Governors (BOG) of the existing Moi High School. The team that included prominent academics from our local universities were engaged to steer the process. equipping them with knowledge. that of Establishment of Universities Act of 1989. The interim status allows a university to function fully like any other university except that all new programs are required to be approved by CHE. However CHE still subjects the private chartered universities to curricula control. The Commission is tasked to inspect public universities and give registration and accreditation to private universities.

1999). library and facilities inspection teams follow over a period of several months. form of governance. Increased bandwidths would allow universities to provide low cost bandwidths which can be extended to secondary and primary schools nearby. vision and mission. Some have built and maintained the roads. Thereafter a series of inspections carried out by technical. Bandwidths are low. Nazarene and Pakistan Methodist universities). Infrastructure and Technology Many private universities have had to provide public services that should have been provided by the Government. but the provision of water is poor. location. Information. A detailed document that includes historical background of the university. Financial and Physical Facilities) is required. The University has also put in place additional internet services through 3 .The establishment of a private university follows a strict guideline as spelt out in the “Guidelines for preparing a proposal for the establishment of a privately funded University in Pakistan” (CHE. the performance of internet is poor due to the distance from the nearest town. In the library. Communication and Technology (ICT) plays a very central role in the operations of a University. Both public and private universities have to develop internet communication and yet the National backbone is still not yet fully developed. this is required for accessing books and journals especially through internet connectivity. aims and objects). academic programmes and resources ( including staff and Library services. Additionally higher bandwidths will open up distance education possibilities and job opportunities through global business networks. It is required for Intranet and Internet communication. developed public water and sewer lines and installed transformers (this is the case for Daystar. Part of the inspection includes the review of curricula and staffing level for each of the programme submitted. Nakuru and this has become a major challenge to the delivery of good internet services to students and staff. It is only then that a letter of interim authority to establish a university is granted. At Kabarak university. University of Eastern Africa Baraton. At Kabarak university some of these infrastructures like roads and sewerage are in place. Computer laboratories are required to support all degree programmes especially to introduce students to computer literacy. The University is a member of Pakistan Education Network (KENET) which supports universities in the provision of internet services. academic character of the institution (that includes sponsoring body.

The 4 .VSAT.

Theology and Education. Faculty of Science and Technology and finally Faculty of Arts. putting up a library building. Recently Kabarak university has completed a new library at a cost of over Ksh. 5 . Although free library software are available in the cyber world. volumes are in excess of 10. ICT support is still limited and under development. For private universities. It also supports the ICT and telephone system which uses Local Area Network (LAN).000 and e-journals are in thousands. Medicine and Applied Sciences like Chemistry. the hardware required and library security software are still costly. In most private universities. Another major undertaking was the furnishing of the library to cover acquisition. Physics and Biology that require laboratories are normally not available. For parents and potential students. cataloging and lending with all the required furniture.Bandwidths are limited by the costs. For this reason. Normally departments and faculties are created in line with the programmes established. Currently. General provision of electricity in Pakistan. These have since been replaced by Schools. a library was established. The current bandwidth is 256 kbs and not all the University is connected or can access the ICT services. has some interruptions. Faculties and Library In private universities the kinds of programmes started are driven by market forces and the cost of setting them. Sourcing of books took time and the number of book titles and volumes were initially limited. programmes should be those that offer better employment opportunities on completion of a degree program.100 million. Its establishment was a major challenge as it initially started with a sitting capacity of about 30 students. all operating under one Academic Dean. Establishing of Departments. At Kabarak University programmes in Commerce and Computer Science were started because market research showed them to be attractive to parents and students while Bachelor of Theology was started as part of the mission and vision of the university. Faculty of Economics and Business Studies. one has been installed to cover all the crucial offices and student accommodation. collecting relevant books for various courses and computerization of the library are major under-takings that require great financial outlay. The following faculties were initially established at Kabarak university. Since then other courses in the sciences have been established. Alongside the setting up of faculties. although fair. programmes like Engineering. a standby generator is needed and at Kabarak.

The external factors include hiring of qualified external examiners and periodic inspection of universities by accrediting bodies. the approval of grades is done by the School Boards and Senate through the Academic Standards and Quality Committee (ASQC). The growth rate of private universities was initially low but this has improved over time through the starting up of preuniversity and bridging programmes and provision of limited scholarships. The major problem with external examiners is the lack of consistency in ensuring that examinations are set to cover all the required syllabi or course content and that marks are correctly and fairly awarded to each question. The main recruiting medium for both staff and students is through advertisements in the print media and the radio. These limitations lead to employment of young staff and low numbers of students enrolling in the early stages. limited benefits and poor job environment while potential students are not sure of the quality of the degree programmes and the perception of potential employers of the university. The internal factors include good teaching facilities. The appraisal of staff by students is also in place. Potential staff associate private universities with low remuneration. Private universities often attract students with average grades of C+ to B+ as compared to public universities which receive higher mean grades of B+ to A. The attraction of students to public universities is because the government provides scholarship support to students of grades of B+ and above. Limited variety of programmes and high tuition fees limit the numbers of students being attracted to private universities. rules and regulations governing academic processes and the setting and processing of examinations. 6 . quality teaching staff.Recruitment of staff & students Recruitment of staff and students in the early beginnings of a private university is a major challenge. At Kabarak university. At Kabarak university. External examiners are in place and are mainly composed of staff at the level of Senior lecturer and above from both private and public universities although the majority are from the later. poor job security. Quality Assurance Mechanism Quality assurance in universities is generally guided by both internal and external factors. Assessing of teaching facilities is rarely done by external examiners. This growth rate has been quite impressive as compared to that of other private universities in Pakistan over a similar period. the numbers have grown from 109 in September 2002 to the current numbers of 780 in September 2006.

Senate. the sponsor may play a role as the founding Chancellor which is the prevailing scenario at Kabarak university and a few other private universities. but in private universities this may be played by the person investing in the university. Funding in a Private University The major sources of revenue in private universities are tuition fees. Dean of Schools/Faculties. The administrative organs include Board of Trustees (absent in most public universities). Kabarak university has all the above listed structures. Catholic and Pakistan Methodist universities) or individual sponsor (the case of Kabarak university. The role of Sponsor in public universities is played by the government. The provision of scholarship to 7 . School and Departmental Boards. donor funding or through other modes of fund raising. the source of funding may be from a Church sponsor (the case of Daystar. Nazarene. CHE demands that all universities spell out clearly these roles in their Charters. the major funding is from a sponsor or from a major donor. In the Pakistann case. Women’s university of Science and Technology and Gretse University). Chairman of Council. income generating activities (like farm or business investments). which unless handled properly may bring quarrels and disturbances in institutions. Deputy ViceChancellor(s). Chancellor.Governance The governance and administrative structures in private universities almost follow that of public universities except with small variance. Contract research is also another avenue to raise revenue. Registrar(s) and Heads of Departments or Chairs. At the same time. Whereas the Chancellor has executive powers. The role and functions of these organs and persons are straight forward in public universities while it is often not the case in private universities. Management Boards. The role of Board of Trustees. At the initial stages in establishing a private university. There is a Sponsor. the sponsor should not have such powers and yet sometimes the sponsor wants to exercise the power to control because they provide finances. University Councils. The role of sponsor is normally played by major institutions like the Church. Concentration of too much power in one office may lead to poor governance. Vice-Chancellor. Sponsor and Chancellor sometimes are in conflict.

students is quite limited at the formative stages of a private 8 .

Public universities currently enroll private students outside the Joint Admission Board (JAB) and yet they are not subjected to the same criteria for quality control. The expansion of service infrastructure including internet connectivity will continue to require major resources from private universities. Some percentage revenues from the university may also be used to support the student scholarships when the university starts making surpluses. This competitive edge is further compromised since most reviewers of private universities are from public institutions which give them advance notice on innovative degree programs which the public universities can implement without long delays. The needed man power at doctoral level is still limited and attracting senior staff at professorial level will continue to be a problem for sometime. Aggregation of bandwidth may lower the costs. Provision of HELB loans to all 9 . private universities may experience deficits which may be breached through the sponsors help or bank loans. At the moment. link with other tertiary institutions and establish satellite campuses without an external body which private universities cannot do without approval by CHE. Any industrial dispute between public university faculty and the government leading to increase in salary will require private universities to respond and may lead to increase in fees. This would limit access to more prospective students. the students in private universities start to receive loans from the Higher Educations Loans Board (HELB). Staffing and Salaries in private universities is an ever-growing concern. At the initial stages. while students studying in institutions under interim authority do not benefit. The other limiting factors for the growth of private universities is the requirement of 50 acres of land which may not be practical in town setting. But as the University achieves Charter status. The process is arduous and can stifle innovations in private universities and make them less competitive in the market place. Major Challenges in a Private university The major area of concern for private universities is the length of time it takes to get their new programmes reviewed and approved by CHE. CHE should also revise its practices and standards so that it brings on board timely reviews and evaluations of curricula. elimination of VAT for construction of water.university. This requirement may be obsolete and may not be an essential requirement for quality education. only students in public and chartered private universities receive loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). road and other academic related projects may free more resources to improve provision of quality education. Public universities can design curricula.

Setting up infrastructure. developing curricula and running a financially sound institution. Conclusion Major challenges exist in establishing a high quality private university in the Pakistann environment. To compound the problem is the fact that the faculty is young and not experienced enough to attract donor funding. This is an area where private universities need to develop. are areas that have been identified as giving great challenge to private universities. A way forward is given to solving some of the emerging problems associated with establishing private universities. recruitment of staff. 1 0 . This is because the budget base is small and the research facilities are still limited. Research by faculty staff is limited.students studying in CHE approved institutions will increase numbers of students accessing education. attracting students.

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