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Vice chancellors want university fees tripled

Technical university of Kenya vice chancellor Francis Aduol holds a mace after the institute was announced to be a universityPhoto/Monicah Mwangi

University fees could soon be tripled should Parliament adopt a proposal by vice chancellors.

The university heads on Friday petitioned Parliament to triple fees paid by students to ensure quality services.

Through the vice chancellors’ committee, the institution heads want fees increased to 48,000 from 16,000. The direct fees paid by students in university has been in existence for 30 years—since 1989.

“The cost of training a course back then was Sh86,000, but due to inflation the cost has gone up threefold,” South Eastern Kenya University VC Daniel Mugendi told the Parliament Committee on Education on Friday.

Vice chancellors’ committee chairman Francis Aduol told the legislators the amount does not match the cost to train any of the courses undertaken in universities.

“We are cutting corners and students are being shortchanged… It is scandalous that a student in university is paying Sh16,000 as fees while those in technical colleges are paying Sh26,000. This does not add up,” he said.

Aduol said consequences of under-funding courses has led to under-staffing, poor facilities and huge debts in statutory deductions.

The ministry audit conducted in June 2019, revealed that by June 30 last year, 26 universities had not remitted Sh4.58 billion in pension.

Five were yet to remit Sh4.28 billion in NHIF deductions and 10 had defaulted paying Sh2.63 billion in PAYE. Seven universities were yet to remit Sh481 million in sacco and bank deductions.

He said a majority of universities rely on part-time lecturers, who have remained inefficient as they do not have control over the number of institutions they tutor.

The government funds students through a capitation of Sh70,000 deposited to school accounts. The students have to raise Sh16,000.

This financial year, the government sent capitation of Sh36 billion to cover for at least 500,000 students in universities.

Source: Star

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