State plan to push up cost of university education

The cost of university education is expected to rise after the government introduces the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) financing model, which will see students pursuing science, medicine, engineering and related programmes in public universities paying more for their education.

In a radical shift, the government is also set to remunerate university lecturers in public universities based on the courses they teach and not on their job groups.

But despite the increase, the government will give more money, through Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans, to the students pursuing these courses as compared to their counterparts in arts and humanities.

The implementation of the differentiated unit cost will  harmonise the allocation of government subsidies to public universities.
Universities will henceforth receive funding based on the courses they offer and the number of students taking those courses which means that  universities offering science, engineering-based and related courses will receive more funds.

Following the move, President Uhuru Kenyatta is on Thursday  expected to announce an enhanced government funding for university education that will include more allocation to  HELB, which will allow the agency to start giving loans to students pursuing education in private universities.

In May this year Education Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i  said the government is considering to fund about 10,000 students in private universities.  

This will see the enrollment of State-sponsored students increase to 84,389 after Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps) on Friday provided 74,389 slots in public institutions.

Sponsored students

These revelations were made by the Commission for University Education (CUE) chief executive officer Prof David Some during the fifth stakeholders forum at the Kenya Institute Curriculum (KICD) on Friday when KUCCPS released the results of the 2016 placement of government sponsored students to universities and colleges.

“The National Treasury has given money for the much awaited Differentiated Unit Cost and government sponsorship of students attending private universities. The President is going to make this major shift in university funding announcement on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when we are going to have the Eid Fitr holiday,” 

Some said in response to a question from private universities who had queried why the KUCCPS has not admitted students to their institutions as earlier promised.

In this financial year, the Treasury increased the budget for university education by Sh5 billion from Sh52.9 billion in the just ended 2015/16 financial year to Sh57.8 billion this fiscal year.

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