Universities expensive fees explained amidst looming protests

Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed yesterday defended the proposed fee hike in public universities saying it would be done in phases.

Admitting that public universities are operating under financial difficulties, and more government rebate is not guaranteed, the CS said a fee hike would go a long way in addressing some of the challenges.

“As we speak, there are ongoing consultations among stakeholders. The fees increase is one of the solutions but universities must also device long-term intervention measures to mitigate their budget deficits,” the CS said.

The universities have proposed at least Sh60,000 as annual tuition fees for government sponsored student programme up from the current Sh26,500, which represents 110 per cent increase that would subsequently hand public universities an extra Sh33,000 from every student.

Cumulatively, it is envisaged that about Sh4.5 billion will collected annually to fund operations and development expenditures.

The CS made the remarks when she opened a Sh4 million tuition-block at Kakamega township secondary school yesterday adding that a proposal from public universities on the matter was under consideration by stakeholders in the university education sector.

Reports of the impending fees hike by universities hit the news headlines again last week albeit due to reported delays in the disbursement of tuition funds to the institutions by the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb).

Parliament received the proposal in December last year.  Last week, Higher Education Principal Secretary Colleta Suda said institutions of higher learning cannot be run without not only resources but also infrastructure and human resources.

She admitted that resources these institutions receive are not commensurate with the recent expansion in the sector saying intervention measures must be urgently put in place.

Meanwhile, the CS has challenged Helb loan defaulters to pay up to enable the board finance others. The CS said productive Kenyans who benefited from the loan scheme owe it billions of shillings and should hence shape up, stop the excuses and pay.

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