- In 2016, the aggregate points to qualify for the joint admission board program was reduced.
- Since this change was effected, students now qualify for government-sponsored with a grade of C+.
University dons now attribute institutions financial woes to the reduced aggregate grade for entry.
In 2016, the aggregate points to qualify for the joint admission board program was reduced.
Previously, students with a minimum grade of B- (girls) and B plain (boys) qualified to secure a slot in university as government-sponsored students.
Universities would enrol the remaining number of students as self-sponsored students.
Since this change was effected, students now qualify for government-sponsored with a grade of C+.
For instance, a self-sponsored student pursuing a degree in journalism at Multimedia University pays at least Sh160,000 per year.
A government-sponsored student pursuing the same course in the same institution pays at least Sh32,000 per year.
Another self-sponsored student at the University of Eldoret pursuing a degree in education pays Sh120,000 per year.
Government-sponsored students pursuing the same course parts with at least Sh30,000 per year.
This move has proved to tamper with university funds which were highly dependent on self sponsored students’ school fees.
UASU organising secretary Onesmus Mutio said it is among the many reasons causing the financial crisis in public universities.
Speaking during an interview with a local radio station, Mutio said most public universities were dependent on self-sponsored students' funding.
“SSP students pay more fees than what government-sponsored students pay, so universities have less money to depend on currently,” Mutio said.
Private universities petitioned Parliament to change the admission of State-sponsored universities.
They wanted the current model that allows students with C+ (plus) and above secure admission to be quashed.
Mutio also noted that private universities receiving government capitation for JAB students affected what public universities receive.
“Another issue affecting public universities funding is admitting government-sponsored students to private universities. Those funds should be channeled to public institutions and not private,” he added.
Multimedia University Deputy Vice Chancellor Paul Mbatia also noted that the C+ entry grade changed the financial dynamics in institutions.
“When we have government students who are residents and are fed through the kitchen or cafeteria we sell food to them at low prices,” Mbatia said during a phone interview with the Star.
Mbatia also noted that the prioritisation of students’ enrolment to TVETs and colleges has also seen a reduction of enrolment in universities.
“Other Form 4 leavers also join TVETs and this has depressed the number of students joining university in parallel programmes,” he added.
He called for increased state funding to liberate the state-owned enterprises from debts.
“We struggle to sustain students. By the end of the year we always have accumulated debts,” he said.
The Education ministry in 2016 rolled out admission of government-sponsored students to private universities following a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
However, the programme now faces opposition to suspend it by a section of university stakeholders.
The introduction of government-sponsored students to private universities was first proposed in 2014.
The move sought to reform the financially troubled university sector.
Private institutions only get six per cent of the money (Sh2.4 billion) while public universities get 94 per cent of the funds (Sh41 billion.)
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani said the state "will no longer continue funding universities to the tune they desire".
The Cabinet Secretary said in an interview with the Star, "Public universities must be innovative in dealing with their own challenges."
This means they must start raising their own money with commercial enterprises.
-Edited by SKanyara