What you need to know:
- Students are usually required to clear tuition fees before being issued with examination cards to allow them to take their tests.
- Some first year students were admitted without paying the fees following a directive by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.
Public universities have asked first-year students to pay the household contribution to their tuition fees before they sit for the end-of-semester examinations.
The demand comes after delayed disbursement of scholarship funds to the institutions by the government under the Higher Education Funding model that was unveiled this year.
Students are usually required to clear tuition fees before being issued with examination cards to allow them to take their tests.
Some first year students were admitted without paying the fees following a directive by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.
The model has not affected continuing students who are still supported through capitation paid to the institutions.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has written to students, asking them to pay the fees due.
“Kindly note that end-of-semester examinations commence on December 6, 2023 as per the circulated timetable. In view of this, you’re requested to pay the household amount of fees due as per your band category given by Higher Education Loans Board (Helb). It is noted that loan disbursement as well as scholarship allocations to students have commenced,” reads a letter to students signed by the deputy vice chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof Robert Kinyua.
The chair of the Vice Chancellors Committee of Public Universities, Prof Daniel Mugendi, confirmed that students had been asked to pay their obligation.
He told the Saturday Nation yesterday that they had been informed that the government had started disbursement of the scholarship funds. We were unable to establish the correct position by the time of going to press.
“Categorisation of the students according to the various bands hadn’t been done by Helb. Each university has invoiced their students according to the cost of their programme. Everyone knew they were to pay something from the beginning but we’re cognisant of the short notice. Those who can’t pay will still be allowed to sit the exams,” said Prof Mugendi, who is also the vice chancellor of the University of Embu.
He explained that universities have been using the capitation meant for the continuing students to cater for the first year students’ budgets.
In the new funding model, students applied on the same portal. After application, the Universities Fund is charged with awarding the scholarships while Helb awards the loans and bursaries. It has already disbursed tuition loans worth Sh6.4 and loans for upkeep worth Sh4.8 billion.
According to Helb CEO Charles Ringera, 109,393 students have been awarded loans.
“Loan applications are still ongoing and awards are happening continuously. The new funding model is themed on leaving no student behind,” Mr Ringera said.
First-year students at Moi University have been allowed to sit the examinations but have not been issued with examination cards. This was communicated through a circular signed by the DVC (Academic, Research, Extension and Student Affairs), Prof I.N Kimengi.