The Ministry of Education will in July roll out the differentiated unit cost funding model in all public universities in the country.
The model will ensure that universities receive government funding based on the nature of their academic programmes and student enrolment, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said.
Kenyan universities have in the recent years received inadequate government funding, forcing them to depend heavily on what they get from self-sponsored students.
Universities managements expect the situation to get worse with the next students’ intake owing to the government’s announcement that it will be sponsoring all 2016 KCSE candidates who scored a mean grade of C+ and above.
The reforms in the education sector are expected to affect the funding of normal university operations since the institutions will not be admitting the usually high numbers of self-sponsored students as before, an issue that is expected to lead to further financial deficit.
In a speech read of his behalf during a graduation ceremony at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Wednesday, Dr Matiang’i said the government is keen on ensuring that normal university operations are not affected by the ongoing reforms in the education sector through the implementation of the differentiated unit cost.
“The ministry is committed to improving education at all levels of learning. Major reforms taking place in education are aimed at ensuring relevance, quality and increasing excellence.
“One of the pivotal challenges in tertiary institutions is equitable funding. To address this, the government plans to roll out the differentiated unit cost funding to all the universities in the next financial year which begins in a few days,” said Dr Matiang’i in a speech read on his behalf by Archer Arina Omollo, an assistant director at the Ministry of education during JKUAT’s 29th graduation ceremony.
JKUAT Council chairman, Prof Paul Njuki Kanyari, noted that the university alone is expecting a financial deficit of about Sh1 billion as it anticipates to receive a significantly reduced number of self-sponsored students in September.
“This year, JKUAT will be admitting 4,994 government-sponsored students in its September 2017 intake. However, with the ongoing reforms in the education sector, the University anticipates to receive a significantly reduced number of self-sponsored students this year. This will result in an income shortfall of close to Sh1 billion,” said Prof Kanyari.
Over 2,500 students graduated at the event, 68 of whom were conferred with various doctoral degrees.
The event also saw the second batch of 42 Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (Pausti) students graduate in various masters’ degrees.
“We are proud of the progress that Pausti has made since it admitted the first batch of students in 2012. From the initial 54 students representing 11 African countries, the Institution now has 244 students drawn from 34 countries. This is a great stride towards realising African Union’s goal of integrating the continent through higher education,” said JKUAT vice-chancellor, Prof Mabel Imbuga.