Government announces plans to stop funding public universities
The government has announced that it will no longer fund public universities and colleges. While making the announcement at Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri County, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu challenged the universities to look for other ways to generate revenue.
He asked the public institutions to use research, innovation and technology to generate revenue since the state is about to stop giving them money.
“In Kenya, education takes about 25.9 per cent, and we have to find other ways of creating and generating revenues for universities, and they have to look at other revenues,” Machogu said.
“I’m going to visit each and every university in Kenya because a number of them are facing financial problems, and we are encouraging them to generate their own income because the exchequer as it is now is not going to continue funding more.”
Geoffrey Monari, CEO of the Universities Fund, last week said it is no longer possible for the government to fund universities, since the number of students who can go to college is growing every year.
“The funding requirement for the 2022 cohort of 145,145 students is Sh32.7 million, while available funds are Sh12.6 million. The new students are 52,195 more than the graduates who are leaving, so it’s likely that more money will be needed,” Monari said.
He said that the situation was worsened by the fact that students who got a C+ or higher could go to college for free, which made it easier for more people to go to college.
Public universities are in a financial mess right now. As of June 30, 2022, they owe government agencies and pension plans a total of Sh56.1 billion.
Monari says that this includes money owed to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), pension plans, part-time lecturers, Saccos, the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), and loan deductions, among other things.
In 2019, about 11 universities were caught in a Sh9.7 billion tax evasion racket that threatened their closure.
Egerton University and Moi University are some of the top institutions that are grappling with a management crisis after lecturers laid down their tools over pay cuts.