UoN in talks with doctors union to resolve hiked fee row

Through a petition dated June 28, 2021, KMPDU challenged the move to increase fees.

In Summary
  • 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 VC clarified that as much Curriculum reforms are most urgent, the university and TVET sector is important as well.
UoN vice chancellor Stephen Kiama during an interview at UoN Towers on October 29.
UoN vice chancellor Stephen Kiama during an interview at UoN Towers on October 29.

The University of Nairobi management has decided to solve amicably a case that sought to do away with fee increments, specifically for medicine courses.

Through a petition dated June 28, 2021, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union had challenged the move to increase fees by three folds.

However, UoN Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama said the university has engaged the union toward solving the matter.

“There has been some discussions between us and them and we are resolving it internally,” Kiama told the Star.

The fee for medical students is Sh3.8 million for the five-year course, up from Sh2.35 million.

A Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery would now cost Sh600,000 annually.

The cheapest courses in the medicine cluster cost Sh450,000 annually which are Human anatomy, pharmacy, and medical physiology.

A student pursuing veterinary medicine will now pay Sh468,000. 

“I have set up a team from the university which is handling it, they are talking and it's important,” the VC added.

The move to increase tuition fees caused an uproar among students and even parents.

But the VC in defending the move insisted that consultations were held before the decision was made by the institution, among many other changes as the institution undergoes restructuring.

"We have engaged staff for a long time we have sent out questionnaires to staff to give their views through committees," he said.

Kiama noted that the clusters are charged based on the student ratio and the material needed to teach the students.

The UoN chief said when he took over running the university, he discovered that the institution was living beyond its means and was in debt.

In terms of the working party on education reforms, Kiama urged the public not to ignore the tertiary education sector.

The VC clarified that as much curriculum reforms are most urgent, the university and TVET sector is important as well.

“When learners finish at the basic education level we at the universities are the ones who receive them,” he said.

Kiama had to clarify the inclusion of wholesome education reforms because most Kenyans think the reforms are only based on the curriculum.

The VC who has to forfeit international commitments to attend to the working party said the recommendations will be the future of education in Kenya.

“There is an international conference for vice chancellors but this is more important and I thank the President for appointing me,” he said.

The higher education sub-sector will also undergo reforms, according to recommendations to be given by the task force.

President William Ruto asked Raphael Munavu's team to review legislation in the institutions of higher learning.

They include technical and vocational training centres and universities.

“[It will] review and recommend legislation to facilitate the amalgamation of HELB, TVET and University Funding Boards with a view of harmonising and merging all tertiary education funding entities," the notice reads.

Ruto directed that the task force recommends criteria to implement an open university in Kenya.

“To recommend a framework of operationalising the National Open University of Kenya and a framework on Open, Distance and E-line learning (ODEL),” the notice reads.

The plan to have an open university was among Ruto’s pledges during the campaign.

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