Private Universities Increase Tuition Fees After Government’s Reduction Of Student Funding

According to recent reports, private universities in the East African nation of Kenya have increased their tuition fees across board after the Kenyan government reduced allocation for students sponsored by the government by more than 43,000 Kenyan Shillings over the past four years.

Data from the Universities Fund (UF) which is the agency in charge of allocating the funds in question, revealed that the capitation per student reduced to 40,366 Kenyan Shillings in the year which ended in June of 2021. This signifies a 52 percent drop from the 84,217 Kenyan Shillings that was allocated in 2018.

The reduction in funding for government sponsored students played a significant role in the numerous private universities in the country deciding to increase their tuition fees by as much as 20,000 Kenyan Shillings per semester. The move however prompted the Kenyan Parliament to present a petition to the Ministry of Education.

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The Universities Fund (UF) made it known through a report that, “Universities in Kenya are in a serious financial crisis because there is a continuous decline in government funding of universities amidst increased cost of administering education.”

Under the current funding arrangement, the Kenyan Government is expected to pay as much as 80 percent of the total tuition costs for every student being sponsored by the government in universities. The parents, guardians along with the universities where said students are enrolled in, will then handle the remaining 20 percent.

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In August of 2021 the National Assembly’s Committee on Education was petitioned by lawmakers to launch an inquiry into numerous allegations that Africa Nazarene University, KCA University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Kenya Methodist University, St Paul’s University increased their tuition fees by as much as 20,000 Kenyan Shillings.

The petition which was brought before the National Assembly’s Committee on Education stated that, “Despite there being set fees for government-sponsored students, the institutions continue to charge more.”

The reduction in funding has also resulted in a number of private universities in Kenya defaulting on payments to suppliers and statutory obligations.

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