Kenyan public universities have been hit by cash flow crisis amid a sharp drop in the number of self-sponsored students (those in parallel programme).
The allocation to the institutions of higher learning was cut by KSh 10 billion from KSh 123.6 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year to KSh 113 billion in the 2020/2021 financial year and the management of universities have asked for additional KSh 20 billion to cater for the shortfall.
Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia confirmed several universities had made a request to the exchequer highlighting the cash flow crisis they were facing during the coronavirus pandemic period.
“Several universities have already written to us and requested for additional funding amounting to KSh 20 billion,” Muia told Parliament’s committee on education as reported by Business Daily.
Treasury, Members of Parliament (MPs) and vice chancellors had reportedly endorsed a new financing plan to triple tuition fees from KSh 16,000 to KSh 48,000 amid resistance from students and parents.
No plans to increase varsity fees
In a new turn of events however, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has declared the government has no plans to increase varsity fees.
The tough talking official said the state was yet to debate on the matter and as such he called on parents and guardians not to get worried.
As far as I am concerned the government does not wake up and hike university fees four times. We are yet to sit to consider and debate the issue. There’s a need for debate on the issue to reach a consensus. In fact, we need to engage all the stakeholders before taking any decision on the matter,” Magoha was quoted by People Daily.
Earlier, vice chancellors had insisted on a fee hike despite strike threats from students. The then chairman of the vice chancellor’s committee Francis Oduol said the cost of operations had gone up and should not be compared to what used to happen in the early 1990s. “The cost of everything has gone up. If we’re going to run universities in a way that would make them competitive, we need to ensure that they are properly funded. We can no longer work with the parameters of 1989 to run universities in 2019,” said Aduol.