by Muthoni Kimani
December 8, 2020
The Ministry of Education and the National Treasury has approved a proposal by Vice-Chancellors to increase university fees by three times as early as 2021.
Senior treasury and education officials proposed that university fees be increased from Ksh 16,000 to Ksh 48,000 while appearing before the National Assembly Committee of Education.
However, the policy change requires further approval by the National Assembly, but with the backing of the committee, the proposal is likely to be adopted by the house.
Vice-chancellors have been pushing for the fee hike to help their institutions meet the funding gap that has seen them owe Ksh37 billion in statutory deductions and have struggled to maintain payrolls.
Treasury PS Julius Muia and Higher Education PS Simon Nabukwesi acknowledged that universities are facing a financial crisis and the fees will need to be reviewed. PS Muia added that they were ready to pitch the case for universities’ financing plans by submitting a Cabinet Paper that contains fee hikes as early as January 2021.
Ps Muia continued;
“But this must start from the Ministry of Education forwarding to us a well-thought-out and all-encompassing Cabinet Memorandum that we shall look through at the Treasury and forward to the Cabinet for discussion.”
The current fee was set in 1989, a plan that has seen the government pay Ksh 70,000 while students pay Ksh 16,000. This increase will burden parents who are already feeling the pain of the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused salary cuts, job losses and slow economic growth.