Factors influencing research outputs in Kenya: The case of selected public universities
Adoyo, Claris A
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Universities are now at the centre of the knowledge economy where they are expected to innovate, and use the knowledge they generate to serve the public as well as contribute to economic growth and competitiveness. Many countries globally have pursued Commercialization of University research to increase their national competitiveness, to generate funds for more research and development in order to optimize the returns on taxpayer’s investments and the use of research results. This study intended to examine the factors influencing Research outputs of Selected Universities in Kenya. The study objectives were to determine how research funding influences Research outputs in Selected Public Universities in Kenya; to establish how University Researchers Characteristics influences Research Outputs in Selected Public Universities in Kenya; to investigate how Industrial Involvement influences Research Outputs in Selected Public Universities in Kenya and to examine how Institutional Administrative structures influence Research outputs of Selected Public Universities in Kenya. The study reviewed past studies on the topic and identified a knowledge gap. This research problem was studied using a descriptive research design. The target population was 161 University Researchers from University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology which represent public Universities in Kenya. The study employed Krejcie and Morgan’s table for determining sample size to come up with a sample size of 113 respondents. The study relied on questionnaires to collect quantitative was cleaned, coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) Software Version 20. A pilot study to pretest and validate the questionnaire was done, the questionnaire was deemed reliable as it scored reliability coefficient of above 0.8 estimated using the split-half reliability test. The content validity was tested through expert opinion. The results were summarized into frequencies, percentages and correlation tables and the explanation presentedin prose. The results indicate that research outputs of Selected Public Universities in Kenya is influenced by Research Funding, Industrial Involvement, University Researchers Characteristics and also by Institutional Administrative Structures. The study concludes that research funding, University Researcher Characteristics, Industrial Involvement and Institutional factors influences Research outputs in Public Universities in Kenya. The study recommends, increasing research funding beyond the final report, development of a National Commercialization Policy in Kenya, linking Universities Researchers with the Industry and sensitization of University Researchers on Commercialization and IPR for University researchers to be able to move beyond the publications and conference presentations stages and commercialize their research results. Future studies on Research outputs from Public Universities in Kenya could focus on all Public Universities and Influence of Academic Research on Economic Development.