Ruto unveils new varsity education funding model

It favours vulnerable and extremely needy students who will learn for free.

In Summary
  • This will be a 56 per cent increase from FY22/23 which had a total of Sh54 billion allocation, including Sh44 billion budget allocation and Sh10 billion for HELB.
  • "This translates to an Increase of funding per student from Sh152,000 to Sh208,000, an increase of 37 per cent per student," Ruto said. 
President William Ruto at a past event
President William Ruto at a past event
Image: PCS

The government has unveiled a new university and TVETs funding model aimed at primarily benefiting students from extremely poor backgrounds.

President William Ruto said the government will fully cater for education costs of vulnerable and extremely needy students who comprise 29 per cent of the student population joining university and TVETs this year through government scholarships, loans and bursaries.

"For the first time, students whose families are at the bottom of the pyramid shall enjoy equal opportunity in accessing university and TVET education. Their households shall not make any contribution towards the education of their children," Ruto said. 

He said those joining TVETS will receive government scholarships up to a maximum of 50 per cent and 30 per cent in loans. Their households will pay 20 per cent of the costs.

The President said the new model of funding will take effect at the beginning of the  next financial year and will benefit the new cohort of 173,127 students that will be joining universities and 145,325 students who will be joining TVET institutions. 

"The Cabinet Secretary for Education shall take immediate action to operationalise the new funding models," Ruto said.

Ruto announced the new model on Wednesday while giving an address on "New Financing Model for Public Universities and TVETs" at State House, Nairobi.

The President said all continuing government-sponsored students will continue receiving support in line with the previous existing funding models. 

Meanwhile, the President announced an increase in university education funding to Sh84.6 billion in the 2023/24 financial year, a 56 per cent rise from current budget.

He said the new funding comprises Sh53 billion allocation to be factored in the budget and Sh31.6 for HELB loans.

"This translates to an increase of funding per student from Sh152,000 to Sh208,000; an increase of 37 per cent per student," Ruto said. 

In the 2022/23 financial year, the government allocated Sh54 billion for university funding comprising Sh44 billion in the budget and Sh10 billion for HELB.

He added that the cost of training TVET students will be Sh67,189 per year per trainee down from Sh71,420 for the new intake of May 2023.

The move comes days after HELB CEO Charles Ringera said over 140,000 students were going to miss on the loans after the government slashed the funds it allocates the board by over Sh5 billion.

Ringera said over 500,000 students had applied for the loans but only 341,000 would benefit.

He said the board received Sh14.8 billion which was Sh5.7 billion less than their budgetary demands meaning a reduction in the number of beneficiaries.

"Due to the budgetary cuts, the number of students seeking HELB loans will drop this year but we hope that the number will rise in the coming year," he said while speaking on Sunday. 

Education and Security sectors are the biggest beneficiaries of  Ruto's first budget which is been set at Sh3.6 trillion for the 2023/24 financial year.

Budget estimates tabled on the floor of the House on Thursday afternoon showed that the government has allocated Sh568.8 billion to the Education docket, the highest amongst the various state departments.

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