• During an interview with several students, most of them said they opt to reside in hostels outside their institutions for privacy and affordability.
• Wahome reiterated that universities have to make sure their facilities are well maintained ahead of the September intake for the 2022 KCSE graduates.
Universities across the country have been challenged to maintain their facilities to quality standards in order to retain students.
KUCCPS CEO Mercy Wahome says research has revealed one of the reasons students transfer from institutions is poor facilities such as hostels.
"Universities have to maintain or work to maintain certain standards because students are free to make their own movements,” Wahome said.
“When we ask the students why they transfer, one of the reasons has been poor accommodation facilities...offer quality and you will retain the students.”
During an interview with several students, most of them said they opt to reside in hostels outside their institutions for privacy and affordability.
“When I joined campus, I only stayed in the hostel for two semesters then I rented outside school. I never used to get any privacy as sometimes my roommate would come with her friends and maybe I’m just from the bathroom,” the student who didn’t want her name mentioned said.
She went on to say that most of the hostels outside schools are affordable than the hostels inside the institutions.
“I stay in a bedsitter costing Sh7,500. It is cheaper than the hostel and I have the whole space to myself. I can get in the house and leave at any time without any restrictions,” she said.
Other students argued that ablution facilities at their institutions are sometimes not cleaned well resulting in them contracting Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
"Many students suffer from infections because of the unhygienic toilets in schools. It's better if one stays alone because one can clean their own washroom every day," another student said.
“Also, with my own washroom, I don’t have to share it with many people unless a visitor comes to my place.”
Wahome reiterated that universities have to make sure that their facilities are well maintained ahead of the September intake for the 2022 KCSE graduates.
She also challenged university administrations to ensure they have the capacity to offer the programmes they intend to admit students for before the intake.
“You say that you wish to have a thousand students for a programme. Before we can publish the capacity, the commission has to ascertain that you have the capacity to provide education for those a thousand students in that programme.”
Wahome recommended to the institutions to partner with the Ministry of Housing for construction of better student hostels.
“That is something that public universities should look into so as to improve those facilities if they actually want to retain students,” she said.
Meanwhile, universities intending to hike tuition fees in a bid to cater for accommodation or food of students have been warned.
Universities Fund chief executive officer Geoffrey Monari said an agreement between the government and institutions has been signed against fee increment.
He said universities that will contravene the agreement will be penalised and the MoU signed with them revoked.
"Universities have signed a memorandum of understanding with us based on the fees they charge. If they increase fees, then the MoU will be revoked and they will be charged." Monari said.
Monari assured students that those who will apply for funding will get scholarships and loans and no student will miss funding under the New Funding Model.
He disclosed that the government will avail both scholarships and loans for 130,485 students in public universities while 9,662 students in private universities will get loans only.
"There is no student who will miss funding because the number of students we estimated is higher than the ones that were placed," he said.