Egerton medical training cost dwarfs top varsities

The entrance to Egerton University in Njoro Sub-County on May 28, 2024.

Photo credit: Boniface Mwangi | Nation Media Group

Egerton University has overtaken leading medical schools at the University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenyatta University (KU), and Moi University (MU) in the amount of tuition fees for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree students, becoming the most priced institution during this year’s intake.

An analysis by this publication of the fee structures for the highly competitive study discipline indicates that students seeking to pursue the course at the Njoro-based varsity must part with an annual charge of Sh643,940, while those joining Kisii University will pay the least amount at Sh461,210 during the first year.

The data, mined from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) portal, shows that learners enrolling for the course in traditionally-renown institutions such as KU, MU and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will pay Sh612,000, which is Sh31,940 lower than the charge at Egerton.

Others charging a similar fee as the trio are Maseno University (MSU) and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MUST) as well as Pwani University.

At the UoN, whose medical college is the oldest and arguably the most revered in the country, students will part with Sh635,000 for their opening year while those opting to pursue medicine in private universities that include the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU), Uzima University and Mount Kenya University (MKU), will pay Sh559,500, Sh535,700 and Sh510,000 respectively.

Though highly-priced, the course has for ages been considered a lucrative venture as professionals churned out are among the highest-paid in the country. Data shows that surgeons and medical doctors in local public facilities earn an average of Sh500,000 monthly while those in private practice take home higher perks.

Apart from doctors, other top earners in the country include judges, lawyers, pilots, architects, engineers, and accountants underscoring the aggressive drive by universities to offer courses in those fields due to high demand.

Before the newly unveiled funding model, the government through the Universities Fund (UF) would send block funding to the institutions based on the number of undergraduate students enrolled and the courses they selected.

Under the new model, funding will be student-centred and will be apportioned according to their levels of need and classified into four sets – vulnerable, extremely needy, needy, and less needy.

Funding to students will combine scholarships, loans, and household contributions on a graduated scale, which will be scientifically determined.

The shift compels tertiary institutions to peg their scramble for students to the quality of programmes and associated costs in a swing that will see only the fittest survive.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.