Beyond Enterprise: The Effect of Linkages and Partnerships Resource Mobilisation Structure on the Financial Sustainability of Universities in Kenya

Janet A. Chumba


The declining funding for public universities and reduced investment in private university education in Kenya is forcing the financial managers in these institutions to explore different resource mobilization structures to guarantee their financial sustainability.  Universities in the 21st century have adopted various resource mobilization structures for financial stability. However, it is not certain which of the structures ensure financial sustainability. One of the key available sources of revenue has been in linkages and partnerships, specifically public-private partnerships, and academic collaborations, to mobilize resources for infrastructure development and to support research and academic programme. This paper goes beyond the entrepreneurial profit-oriented mindset in raising resources for higher education institutions and analyses the effect of linkages and partnership structures for the financial sustainability of universities in Kenya. The study is anchored on knowledge based theory which supports research activities undertaken by universities through strategic alliances with the aim of generating new knowledge that would improve the welfare of the society at large .The paper uses the descriptive and cross-sectional co-relational survey design, with the study population comprising 71 universities in Kenya. The target respondents were the 71 finance officers drawn from each of the 71 universities (n=71), who were providing information as to whether their universities had entered strategic alliances and what these were supporting). The findings show that most universities had entered into public-private partnerships (M=3.27) with a view to fiscal sustainability, more than those that had cultivated strategic alliances for academic and research goals (M=2.21).These results illuminate the financial potential of linkages and partnerships as a viable resource mobilization structure on which to anchor the financial sustainability of universities in Kenya, with both the national and county governments,  the industry, and with other universities globally.

Keywords: Resource mobilization, Partnerships, Linkages, Funding, Universities, Higher education, Financial sustainability

DOI: 10.7176/JESD/11-20-15

Publication date:October 31st 2020

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