Economy

Universities seek Sh20bn as cash flow crisis deepens

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University of Nairobi main entrance. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Funding for universities has been hit hard by the sharp decline of students enrolling for the parallel degree programme courses over the past three years that generated billions for the institutions.
  • Institutions that have made requests for additional funding include University of Nairobi, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kisii University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Egerton University and Kabianga University.

Public universities have asked the National Treasury for additional Sh20 billion to ease their cash flow challenges amid a sharp drop in the number of self-sponsored students.

The Treasury allocated the university education vote Sh113 billion in the current fiscal year, which is a Sh10 billion cut from the Sh123.6 billion the institutions received the previous year. The cut was necessitated by lower revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funding for universities has been hit hard by the sharp decline of students enrolling for the parallel degree programme courses over the past three years that generated billions for the institutions.

Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia told Parliament that a number of universities have requested for additional funding, reflecting the deepening cash flow crisis in the institutions that are expected to absorb a growing number of students in coming years once the cohorts of the 100 percent transition plan complete their high school education.

“Several universities have already written to us and requested for additional funding amounting to Sh20 billion,” he told the National Assembly Committee on Education.

Dr Muia said institutions that have made requests for additional funding include University of Nairobi, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kisii University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Egerton University and Kabianga University.

The institutions’ financial woes have been worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic which led to their closure to combat its spread.

The drop in the number of parallel degree students has also forced universities to freeze new hiring and slow down expansion plans as they struggle with huge debts.