Kenyan public universities have been grappling with cash crisis since Covid-19 pandemic hit the country. Some universities are broke to the extent of failing to pay it’s bills. Moi university is currently closed after suspension of learning. This resulted after lecturers and other supporting staff went without pay for months. Kenyatta university on the other hand is being faced with a loan amounting upto 1.7 billion.
There have been calls by stakeholders pushing for increment of fees. This proposal has been strongly opposed by students around the country who even threatened to go on strike.
The cabinet secretary for the ministry of finance has backed the move to increase to the fees to cater for for the institutions needs. The minister suggestion that the government currently does not have the capacity to carry the burden of training a student of higher learning. According to statistics the cost of training one learner is about 200,000. The government pays 160,000 for each student sponsored by the government.
Yattani proposes that the fee can be increased from 40,000 to about 100,000. This figure will help many of the institutions to keep up with their financial crisis.
The university of Nairobi recently raised the fees from 26,000 to 59,000 per year. This move locked out more than four thousand students from joining last September. The vice chancellor professor Kiama even went further to tell them to look for other universities which are affordable if they can’t pay the required amount.
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani said the state “will no longer continue funding universities to the tune they desire”.
The Cabinet Secretary said in an interview with the Star, “Public universities must be innovative in dealing with their own challenges,” meaning they must start raising their own money with commercial enterprises.
The process of increasing fees has however, been proposed to be gradual. This will prevent havoc as students will come to terms with it gradually.
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