Govt to Increase Helb Allocation to Students

  • Kenyans waiting for service at Helb offices
    Kenyans waiting for service at Helb offices
    Business Daily
  • The National Treasury and other education stakeholders have agreed to increase issuances to the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) to support more students instead of increasing university fees.

    The National Assembly Education Committee chairperson Florence Mutua said the previous fees increment policy, “underscored the harsh economic times and noted that this may not allow for any fee increment at the moment. Everything we did was to avoid a situation where we increase the fees.”

    The National Assembly Education Committee was in a meeting with Ministry of Education officials, the National Treasury and other education agencies in Mombasa on Friday, 5 February 2021. 

    CS Education Prof George Magoha takes part in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ksh 100million Eluid Kipchoge Library at Kapsisiywa Primary School in Nandi County on September 16, 2020

    The discussions were establishing sustainable financing of higher education, policies on placement of government sponsored students in private universities and endorsement and supervision of academic programmes in universities.

    Any fees review should take into consideration the performance of the economy at that time, given the effects of the Covid-19 on the economy,” read the resolution.

    The stakeholders also agreed that the ministry and the Treasury as well as individual universities should establish resource mobilisation strategies that included a guide to aid universities on borrowing.

    The Ministry of Education and the University Funding Board (UFB) were also given the role of ensuring that both public and private universities were funded equally. 

    Other than that, a cabinet memo was to be prepared to give waivers to universities on statutory payments to Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as relates to Pay As You Earn (PAYE), in an effort to consider the weak financial standing of universities.

    An image of University of Nairobi
    University of Nairobi main campus.

    “We had extensive discussions on the implication of these measures with a view to giving our universities a new lifeline, enable them to provide quality education and lessen the burden for students,” Mutua said.

    Further methods of appealing for funds for universities were provision of conditional grants to help clear outstanding debts such as pension, sacco deductions and future NHIF payments and outsourcing of non-core functions.