Stakeholders in the private universities on Friday, May 12, rejected the proposal by President William Ruto and Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu on a funding model for tertiary institutions.
According to the stakeholders, the proposal to only fund public institutions disadvantaged and discriminated against them as taxpayers.
“We have a right to enjoy our taxes. These taxes should be channeled to every student regardless of whether they are in public or private universities,” argued Judy Chania from Machakos University.
“All our efforts to fight for sponsorship of students in private universities by the government has not been appreciated,” she added.
They suggested that the government emulate former Education CS Fred Matiang’i’s strategies. During Matiangi’s reign, the government explored ways private universities could enroll State-funded students.
“This will be a temptation to the students. If they receive the money in their accounts, their first option may not be to pay fees,” she explained.
On May 3, Ruto launched a new funding model to ensure that only public universities benefit from government funding.
The Head of State assured parents of fully funding their students in public universities and increasing the number of needy students to receive government scholarships from 38 per cent and 55 per cent.
In March 2023, the National Assembly Education Committee questioned why the government posted government-sponsored students to private universities.
“In the future, any engagement between private universities and the government will only be based on policy but there will be no admission of government-sponsored students in private universities,” suggested Julius Melly, the committee chairperson.
The committee argued that by funding private universities, public universities were left with limited resources despite the high admission rate.
On the other hand, Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), on Friday, May 12, clarified that the proposed university funding model will not affect the new posting model.
KUCCPS added that those in private universities will continue to enjoy government funding.