Economy

Private varsities raise tuition fees after State cuts student funding

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A past graduation ceremony at KCA University in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE

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Summary

  • Data from the Universities Fund (UF) shows that the capitation per student dropped to Sh40,366 in the year ending June, a 52 percent drop from Sh84,217 allocated in 2018.
  • The cut in student capitation has seen the cash-strapped private universities increase tuition fees by up to Sh20,000 per semester, prompting Parliament to petition the Education ministry.
  • The drop in funding has forced private universities to default on statutory obligations and payments to suppliers.

State allocation for government-sponsored students in private universities has dropped by more than Sh43,000 in the last four years, prompting the institutions to increase tuition fees.

Data from the Universities Fund (UF) — the agency that guides the allocation of the cash — shows that the capitation per student dropped to Sh40,366 in the year ending June, a 52 percent drop from Sh84,217 allocated in 2018.

The cut in student capitation has seen the cash-strapped private universities increase tuition fees by up to Sh20,000 per semester, prompting Parliament to petition the Education ministry.

“Universities in Kenya are in a serious financial crisis because there is a continuous decline in government funding of universities amidst increased cost of administering education,” the UF says in a report.

The State is under the current funding formula supposed to pay up to 80 percent of the tuition charges for government-sponsored students in universities, while the parents, guardians and institutions foot the remaining 20 percent.

In August, lawmakers petitioned the National Assembly’s Committee on Education to inquiry into allegations that the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nazarene University, St Paul’s University, Kenya Methodist and KCA have increased tuition fees by up to Sh20,000.

“Despite there being set fees for government-sponsored students, the institutions continue to charge more,” reads the petition before the committee.

The drop in funding has forced private universities to default on statutory obligations and payments to suppliers.

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