Government announce move to scrap funding to public universities, colleges
The government has announced that it will no longer fund public universities and colleges.
Speaking at the Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri county on Saturday, November 5, 2022, Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu said that universities should seek alternative means of raising revenue.
“I am going to move around each and every university in Kenya, because our universities are faced with problems particularly finance you get them complaining about funding,
“We are encouraging that they must generate their own revenue because the ex-checker as it is now is not going to be able to continue funding more because in Kenya education takes 25.9 per cent so we have to find other ways of creating and generating revenue for universities and they have to look at other revenue schemes,” he stated.
Public universities are currently facing a financial crisis and collectively owe government agencies and pension schemes about Kshh56.1 billion as of June 30, 2022.
According to Universities Fund CEO Geoffrey Monari, this includes monies owed to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), pension schemes, part-time lecturers, Saccos, National Hospital Insurance Funds (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and loan deductions among others.
“Currently, our universities are facing a profound financial crisis. The aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic still lingers,” said Monari, during a media workshop on Friday, October 28.
Similarly, he said that the 100 per cent transition for students attaining C+ (plus) and above has increased access to universities, amidst financial strain.
Monari explained that under the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC), students placed by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps) to universities are expected to be funded by the Government up to 80 per cent of the unit cost.
He, however, said lack of sufficient funds saw an allocation of 66 per cent in public universities in Financial Year 2017/18 and further reduced to 48.11 per cent and 21.94 per cent for private universities as at 2021/22 from 44 per cent in 2017/18.
He also said that the current budget for Government Sponsored Students (GSS) is about Ksh47.4 billion out of which, Ksh3.4 billion is for 78,443 students placed in private universities while Sh44 billion for 356,188 students in public universities.
“The expected number of GSS graduates is 92,950 in the Financial Year, which accounts for a budget of about Ksh12.6 billion at the prevailing rate of 48.1 per cent.
Monari also explained that the total number of government-sponsored students in public and private universities is 434,631 students in DUC with a requirement of Ksh87.3 billion but available budget is Ksh47.4 billion.
“There exists a budget deficit of Ksh39.9 billion. With the number of graduates expected to exit universities in the 2021/22 year standing at 92,950 students, Ksh12.6 billion will be freed for the incoming cohort,” he explained.
For the 2022 group, the funding requirement of 145,145 students is Ksh32.7 billion while the available funds are Ksh12.6 billion.
“The incoming cohort is larger than the graduates exiting by 52,195 students hence it is expected that the funding requirements will increase,” Monari stated.
He called for the need to explore funding of universities in the country and restore their status as they were several years ago.