Dec, 3rd 2020 – Public University students may pay triple the fee they are currently parting with if the president approves the proposal by the vice chancellors.
In a meeting of the national assembly education committee, the public universities leadership said the additional fee would help the institutions overcome the challenges posed by COVID 19 pandemic. The proposal will however need the scrutiny of the education ministry and the Cabinet before the president approves it.
The developments come even as the higher education Loans board reduced the cash advance to students by 8,000. The board says they have faced reduced remittances because of the pandemic.
The proposal gained power since it was raised by University bosses and is being touted as the panacea for the financial crunch facing the institutions.
After approval, students who will sit for their KCSE exams in 2021 and qualify for university placement under government sponsorship will be the first lot to pay the hiked fee.
Vice Chancellors committee chared by Geoffrey Muluvi said that students who will be unable to raise the fees can turn to bursaries for assistance. HELB CEO Charles Ringera said that an increase in fees means an increase in the amount the loans boards will advance to students.
Ringera said, “Helb will need another Sh14 billion for the increase in terms of school fees.”
He added that the board has already been hit by the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic pushing the average amount offered to students to sh37,000 from sh45,000.
Estimates from Helb show that for a student to be comfortable, they need an annual budget of about sh200,000. Ringera said, “Given that Helb provides about Sh37,000 currently then it means the students or the household has to raise another Sh162,000.”