The rejection of a Sh41.6 billion State funding request from public universities and the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) though regrettable, is an eye-opener to both the higher institutions of learning and authorities.
The huge funding gap should prompt the universities to look for other models of raising money without necessarily burdening learners and other financiers.
The search for alternative revenue streams cannot wait if Kenya is to have respectable institutions of higher learning with a reputation for quality graduates.
They should seriously consider suggestions that they set up an endowment fund — a pool of assets invested by a college or a university to support its educational and research mission in perpetuity.
The model involves hundreds or thousands of individual donations, which universities can dip into but with a modicum of prudence.
Other options are monetising their research, leasing idle land and venturing into businesses that can generate resources to keep universities afloat.