Universities are headed for a major clash with students who have petitioned the University Funding Board (UFB) to reject the proposed increment of tuition fees on grounds that it will lock out learners.
Kenya University Students Organisation (KOSU) said the increment if approved will lock out students from needy households and infringe on the constitutional right to quality education for all.
Vice Chancellors of public universities have proposed to hike tuition fees from the current rate of Sh16,000 per semester effective September next year saying the changes are geared towards easing financial constraints at the institutions.
The varsity officials petitioned UFB— the State agency mandated for funding of university students— to approve the new tuition fees that target fresh students who will join the institutions in September of next year.
The institutions owe suppliers at least Sh68 billion and have failed to remit employee dues estimated at Sh34 billion, highlighting the financial woes that have forced them to close campuses, scrap some courses and lay off staff.
“We humbly pray that your honourable office considers this petition and further rejects and dismisses in its entirety with prejudice the vice-chancellors' petition to increase tuition fees in public universities,” KUSO Chairman Antony Manyara says in a letter to UFB.
The students’ lobby said that the universities should instead cost-cut on non-core areas to ease the cash-flow woes.
Vice Chancellors have targeted first years in a bid to avoid opposition from continuing students who have in the past warned of paralysing operations at the institutions in case tuition charges are increased.