The government through Education Ministry on Tuesday, March 14, declared its stance on raising university fees from Ksh16,000 to Ksh48,000.
Addressing the press, Principal Secretary (PS) for Higher Education and Research, Dr Beatrice Muganda revealed that she was aware varsities had proposed to triple the fees.
She however noted that this would not be rolled out until the government receives recommendations from the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms task force.
“Stakeholders have been ventilating about the fee increment but I want to emphasise that as a government we have not made any statement on such.
“However, stakeholders have shared their views with the task force and it will present its report by the end of March to President William Ruto who will then in his wisdom decide on how to act on the recommendations,” she remarked.
The PS further noted that the challenges affecting public varsities were not unique to Kenya.
“As universities not only in Kenya but the world over, the issue of quality access and funding will always remain a trilemma.
“As a Ministry, we are though continuously working on these issues using a multi-pronged approach,” she addressed funding challenges at public universities.
Muganda told universities not to use financial challenges as an excuse to lower the quality of education.
“When resources are less it tends to affect quality but that should not be the case in our country.
“There are many homegrown solutions that do not require funding,” she advised university vice-chancellors.
On how the government was planning to help universities in debt crisis, she explained, “No government has been able to fund higher education alone. This requires partnerships and that is why as a government we are sourcing partnerships.”
Dr Muganda revealed that the government through the Kenya-UK health alliance was bringing in Ksh140 billion for health projects in six universities.
She urged universities to emulate the government’s model and pursue partnerships.
“We are also asking universities to talk to donors and mobilize resources,” she advised.
She made the remarks the same day when the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) wrote to Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu decrying delayed capitation.
“The Union takes great exception in delay in the release of capitation and salaries to academic members of staff every month. It is very insensitive and inconsiderate for the Ministry of Education to hoard salaries for staff to date, the 14th Day of the Month.
“The Union condemns in the strongest terms possible the persistent delays in the release of capitation and salaries which has brought disrespect and embarrassment to the dons for far too long,” part of the letter read in part.
The union further warned to take to the streets should the delays persist.