Education taskforce recommends increase in university fees from Ksh.16K to Ksh.52K

Education taskforce recommends increase in university fees from Ksh.16K to Ksh.52K

A file image of Kenyatta University, on of the public Universities in Kenya.

Students in public universities across Kenya could pay more fees to access education if the recommendations by the presidential working party on education reforms are to be implemented. 

The taskforce, which presented its report to President William Ruto last week has also proposed a raft of measures aimed at improving the quality of higher education in the country; including easing the financial burden on universities by writing off debts owed by universities to statutory bodies. 

The second interim report, which focuses on higher education and the reforms needed to make it better and affordable, takes a deep dive into the financing of this sector. 

The working party proposes a threefold increase in the fees paid by government-sponsored students in Kenyan universities from current Ksh.16, 000 to Ksh.52, 000 per semester. 

While advocating for the fee increment, the taskforce is also asking the government to increase its funding of education at university level, which currently falls below the institutions’ needs. 

In public universities, there is a short fall of about Ksh.164 billion, cumulatively from 2018/2019 to the 2022/2023 academic year. Private universities fair slightly better with a funding deficit of Ksh.56.96billion over the same period. 

The report also suggests that the government writes off huge debts owed by universities to statutory bodies, which currently stands at Ksh.56.13 billion, including deductions for PAYE, pension, NHIF, NSSF amongst others.

Beyond funding issues, the report also prescribes ways in which governance in universities can be improved, including ensuring that chancellor vacancies in 28 universities be filled. 

The group says that while the president should still be the appointing authority for chancellors, the input of the Cabinet Secretary for Education and the university’s Senate should be sought.

It also wants the government to aim at increasing the enrolment of students in teachers training colleges that currently stands at a meagre 14.7%, or 3,922 students in 34 institutions, which have a capacity of 26,650 students. 

Additionally, the taskforce wants government to expand the space for Technical and Vocational Training by establishing such institutes across the country, with a National Polytechnic in every county, Technical Vocational College in every constituency and a Vocational Training Centre in each ward.

Neither the president nor the ministry of education has publicly responded to the contents of the report. 


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