State funding to universities in Kenya  set to be slashed

Kenya's Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani.

Kenya’s Treasury Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani in an interview has announced that the state will no longer continue to fund universities to the tune they desire and instead they must be innovative in dealing with their own challenges through commercial enterprises. The CS invoked the universities to think outside the box so as to fund their operations.

Along with the idea of fund withdrawal to universities he urged them to consider increment of tuition fees so as to match up to the market price of training a student. He claimed that the government support limits the universities from changing to meet the current dynamics as they think it’s the governments mandate to support them.

In a recent interview with The Star, the CS also claimed that the raising of university fees will in return increase the quality of education resulting from having quality books, teachers and a better environment for the students. In addition, the CS said that the university management should be looked into so as to ensure dynamic growth in the universities which is initiated by the leaders.

The decision was made in 2021 before the Octobers university entry, which in return reduced the number of freshers who reported as the increase in university fees hindered many. The auditor General Nancy Gathungu also revealed from the audit reports that universities were forced to rely on loans to finance their operations despite the state support.

The CS advised the universities to utilize the huge acres of lands they own which lay idle to earn an income so as to be able to fund their university expenses. He pointed that the idle land could be put to use by either selling, establishing commercial towns or establishment of good hostels which would improve the university or earn it funds to sustain its expenses.

He argued that globally, most of the universities are supported by research grants and said Kenyan colleges should take the cue. They should have a business mind and know that whatever they do, they must sustain those universities. He advised the colleges to liquidate whatever assets they have not put to good use, “for not only expansion but also for improving quality”

Photo courtesy / Google

Article by Virginia Wanjiru