Public university fees to triple, task force recommends

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A presidential task force set up by President William Ruto on education reforms has recommended a sharp increase of fees paid by government sponsored students.

The task force wants government-sponsored students in Kenyan universities to pay Sh52,000 per semester up from the current Sh16,000.

While advocating for the fee increment, the task force has also asked the state to increase its funding for public universities which have a shortfall of Sh164 billion.

Universities have been battling with inadequate funds due to various issues including the reduction of money disbursed by the National Treasury, surging enrolment following the lowering of university entry grade to C+, and a low number of parallel students.

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The situation is likely to worsen with more than 173,000 students who scored C+ and above during the 2022 KCSE examination expected to join various institutions this year.

Cumulatively, public universities are currently sitting on pending bills worth Sh56 billion. This mounting debt will be the subject of a high level conference set to be held in Mombasa starting from Thursday this week.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu is scheduled to open the first bi-annual Kenya Universities Funding Conference which will bring together all vice-chancellors of public and private universities, principals of constituent colleges, and government agencies involved in funding higher learning institutions.

The head of the Universities Fund, Higher Education Loans Board, Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Board, and top budgeting officials from the National Treasury and Planning will attend the meeting that is expected to discuss a bail-out plan for the cash-strapped universities.

It is expected that the matter of raising school fees for government sponsored students will also be discussed at the workshop.


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