- The VC spoke when he appeared before the Public Investments Committee on Education and Governance.
- Aduol said the government has maintained historical figures in funding public universities.
Technical University of Kenya vice chancellor Francis Aduol has said the blanket funding of public universities has landed the institutions in a financial ditch.
Aduol said the government should fund institutions based on the number of students.
“Universities are in this mess because the money is not commensurate with the number of students,” Aduol said.
The VC spoke when he appeared before the Public Investments Committee on Education and Governance.
As of June 2022, unlock universities' debts had accumulated up to Sh56 billion.
Aduol said the government has maintained historical figures in funding public universities.
“You will get for instance TUK receives Sh1.8 billion because that’s what we have been receiving for years,” he said.
Further, he dismissed what some stakeholders have been advising varsities to do.
There have been concerns that the institutions have bloated staff, and VCs have been urged to lay off staff.
“You cannot retrench staff without retrenching students. We are required to have a certain staff ratio to students to run activities,” he said.
The TUK boss said the ratio affects how students receive services including the lecturer's ratio and even none teaching-staff ratio.
Aduol has urged the government to fund public universities according to the number of students available.
“We take students with our left hand and give money with right hand and the two are not connected,” he added.
According to the Universities Fund, the debts had hit Sh56 billion as of June 2022.
The universities owe contractors Sh1.4 billion, part-time lecturers Sh4.5 billion, suppliers Sh4.8 billion, and Sacco contributions Sh4.1 billion.
NSSF is owed Sh139 million, at NHIF there are Sh2 million loan deductions worth Sh1.3 billion, pension schemes Sh18 billion and PAYE is owed Sh13 billion, while other loans have accumulated Sh10 billion.
“The penalties and interests on PAYE arrears should be waived and a conditional grant to cater for the principal PAYE arrears be provided,” the report reads.