Mbote Paul Koigi, Dr. David Ndung'u Kiragu, Prof. Simmy Mwita Marwa, Prof. Matthew M. Theuri, Kenya
Globally education plays a fundamental role in human capital development in both developed and developing countries. Consequently, the performance of the higher education institution worldwide is of great interest to any stable state. Universities play a key role in ensuring access to inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion lifelong learning opportunities for all in line with Sustainable Development Goals. In Kenya there has been a growing concern over the performance of her universities. Some of the issues of focus are diluted quality of teaching, financial instability, inadequate staffing and inadequate facilities. Performance gap is also evidenced by low ranking in various global university rankings. Though it is eminent in literature that performance excellence of any organization depends on a number of factors; social factors, environmental and culture among others, drivers of performance excellence in universities in Kenya have been under researched. This study aimed at exploring the influence of university partnership and collaborations to performance excellence of universities in Kenya. A survey was carried out on 12 Universities in Kenya. The population of interest was the 40 public and private Universities that were accredited in Kenya as at May 2016. A sample size of 277 management staffs was selected using Yamane formula and proportionately allocated to the six private and six public Universities. Primary data was collected through the administration of self administered semi- structured questionnaire. The unit of measure were the departmental heads comprising of the Deans, Directors, Chairpersons, and Heads of section. A response rate of 86.6% was realized. Statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to undertake data analysis including; descriptive statistics, Principle Component Analysis (PCA) and Bivariate Linear Regression. Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test of normality, Durbin Watson d test for autocorrelation and correlation coefficient (r ) test for linearity were used to assess data for regression assumptions. Model fitness (R-Square), F statistics and regression coefficients were generated. The bivariate regression results indicated that collaboration and partnership explain approximately 28.3% of the variations in university performance. Further the results indicate that the regressor has a positive and statistically significant influence on university performance. These results imply that collaborations and partnerships present an opportunity for university to universities to enhance their performance.