Police arrest three as UoN students protest fee increase

University of Nairobi

The main entrance of the University of Nairobi which has more than doubled fees for postgraduate courses and parallel degrees.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Police have arrested three student leaders from the University of Nairobi (UoN) on Wednesday after they took part in protests against the recent fee increment.

The trio is currently being held at the Central Police station.

The students demonstrated from 10am Wednesday in two groups, one at the Kenyatta National Hospital and another along Uhuru Highway near the main campus.

The three who were arrested by police are from the group that held the demo along the highway.

University of Nairobi Students Association (Unsa) chair, Eddie Mwenda, called off the protests as the learners await an address by UoN Vice-Chancellor Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama at 2pm.

Mr Mwenda told Nation.Africa that the union's next move will depend on the outcome of this address and whether their grievances will be attended to, adding that students are mulling protests every Wednesday if the higher fees are not abolished.

Doubled fees

The varsity has more than doubled fees for postgraduate courses and parallel degrees as it seeks to ease a cash crunch brought home by a dip in student enrolment.

It also increased fees for liberal arts Master’s courses like communication and MBA to more than Sh600,000 for a two-year programme from an average Sh275,000, reflecting an increase of 118 per cent.

Fees for degree courses like commerce, economics and law, under the parallel plan, have been increased by up to 70 per cent to about Sh1 million for the four years.

The new fees will apply to new students joining the university from this month, marking the first major fees review for postgraduate courses and parallel degrees in nearly two decades.

The university is betting the review will lift revenues from fees, which have dropped in recent years and pushed Kenya’s leading public university to a Sh1.4 billion loss in the year to June 2018.

Additional reporting by John Mutua


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