As universities struggle, VCs propose higher student fees

Vice Chancellors Committee chair Francis Aduol with University of Nairobi VC Peter Mbithi during a press conference at the Technical University of Kenya on March 4, 2018. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Students joining public universities this year are likely to pay more, if proposals by vice-chancellors are adopted.

The VCs on Friday told the government that the annual fees for a student should increase to Sh48,000 from Sh16,000.

During a meeting with the National Assembly Education Committee and Ministry of Education PS Collete Suda, Prof Francis Aduol, who spoke on behalf of the vice-chancellors, said universities are struggling financially.

Every State-sponsored student pays Sh120,000 per year. Of this, Sh86,000 is for tuition while Sh34,000 caters for other expenses. The government pays Sh70,000, with a student expected to pay the remaining Sh16,000.

Prof Suda asked lawmakers to ensure universities get better funding and the institutions to consider sacking some of their non-essential staff since funding has declined.

She also noted that the number of students in parallel programmes had declined drastically, hence the need for a review of strategies for survival.

"You have to survive ... that calls for bold decisions," Prof Suda said at Nairobi's Safari Park hotel during a meeting of university administrators and members of the National Assembly education committee.

Education committee chairman Julius Melly asked universities to put available resources into proper use available and also conduct research.