Private universities raise tuition after state cuts student funding

Economy

Private universities raise tuition after state cuts student funding


A past graduation ceremony at KCA University Nairobi. PICTURES | FILE

john-mutua-img

Summary

  • Data from the Universities Fund (UF) shows that capitation per student fell to 40,366 shillings in the year ending June, down 52% from the 84,217 shillings allocated in 2018.
  • The reduction in student capitation has seen cash-strapped private universities raise tuition fees by up to 20,000 shillings per semester, prompting Parliament to petition the Department of Education.
  • The drop in funding has forced private universities to default on their statutory obligations and not pay suppliers.

The state stipend for government-sponsored students at private universities has fallen by more than Sh43,000 over the past four years, prompting institutions to raise tuition fees.

Data from the Universities Fund (UF) – the agency that guides the allocation of the money – shows that capitation per student fell to 40,366 shillings in the year ending June, a drop of 52% compared to the 84,217 shillings allocated in 2018.

The reduction in student capitation has seen cash-strapped private universities raise tuition fees by up to 20,000 shillings per semester, prompting Parliament to petition the Department of Education.

“Universities in Kenya are going through a severe financial crisis as there is a continued decline in public funding for universities amid rising costs of administering education,” UF states in a report.

Under the current funding formula, the state is supposed to pay up to 80% of tuition fees for government-sponsored students at universities, while parents, guardians and institutions pay the remaining 20%.

In August, lawmakers asked the Education Committee of the National Assembly to investigate allegations that the Catholic University of East Africa, Nazarene University, St Paul’s University, Kenya Methodist and KCA are said to have raised tuition fees up to 20,000 shillings.

“Although there are fixed fees for government-sponsored students, institutions continue to charge more,” reads the petition before the committee.

The drop in funding has forced private universities to default on their statutory obligations and not pay suppliers.

[email protected]