Monari urges universities to explore other sources to get funds
Public universities cash crisis is getting worse each year
as the number of students joining the higher institutions keep rising.
According to Universities Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Geoffrey Monari, the number of students qualifying for universities is increasing every year and that it's becoming unsustainable for the government to add financial allocation to support universities.
‘’The funding requirement for 2022 cohort of 145,145 students is KSh32.7 million while available funds are KSh12.6 million. The incoming cohort is larger than the graduates exiting by 52, 195 hence it’s expected that the funding requirements will increase,” noted Monari.
The CEO explained that the situation has been made worse by the 100 percent transition for students attaining a C+ and above which has increases access to universities.
Under the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) arrangement, all students placed to universities by the Kenya University Placement Service (KUCCPS) are expected to funded by the government to a tune of 80 per cent of the unit cost.
‘’Due to lack of sufficient funds, the allocation started at 66 percent in public universities and 21.9 percent for private universities as at 2021/22 from 44 percent in 2017/2018.’’
Monari also noted that COVID-19 aftermath still lingers and universities collectively owe the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), pensions schemes, part time lecturers and SACCOS among various government agencies KSh56.1 billion.
However due to the financial situation the government, as explained by Monari has three options.
First is the increase of fees which is not advisable due to the current economic situation in the country and across the world.
Further, the universities can admit students as per the availed funds by the government giving programmes of nationality priority emphasis.
Another option is to support only needy students based on the economic situation of each household. This according to Monari will promote equality if the funding of students.
‘’Evidence has shown that several households in Kenya, especially those in the middle and upper-income quotients may not require any financial support to put their children through university education. Such households will free up exra funds that can go to the needy learners thus reducing the cut-thought competition for the scarce resources.’’
He urged universities to explore other sources to get fund other than depending on the exchequer resources.
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