Machogu Makes U-Turn on University Funding Suspension; Issues Directive
On Monday, November 7, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu reversed his earlier announcement that the state would quit subsidizing public colleges.
In a statement released by the Ministry of Education, Machogu declared that universities would be eligible for funding if they matched the government’s requirements.
During a meeting with the heads of Universities, State and Government Agencies (SAGAs) -held at the ministry’s headquarters in Nairobi’s Jogoo House B, the CS gave a speech.
In the statement, it was said that Ezekiel Machogu gave advice to universities on how to organize their administration and staff to get money for university development.
The CS reaffirmed his appeal for colleges to self-finance by utilizing the global monies granted to institutes of higher education for Research and Innovations.
Machogu petitioned the education stakeholders to investigate improved reform mechanisms in the University Sector so that a clear path could be mapped out for improving the docket.
The Ministry noted,
“The CS thanked the University stakeholders for the efforts towards ensuring learners get quality education and has promised frequent engagements in order to meet the performance targets in the sector.”
The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement and Service (KUCCPS) and the Higher Educations Loans Board were represented at the meeting (HELB).
The National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI), the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Universities Funds Board (UFB), and the Commission for University Education are the others (CUE).
The 5 November remark by Machogu that funding had put pressure on the national budget and that colleges needed to minimize their dependency on the state drew criticism.
Several politicians, including some close to President William Ruto, questioned the decision.
They said that public colleges and universities should get help from the government.
Universities have been facing a financial crisis since 2021, with public institutions being compelled to close some of their satellite campuses and raise tuition prices to stay afloat.
The directive comes after the cademic personnel accused Education CS Ezekiel Machogu of sabotaging Kenya Kwanza’s commitments to the education charter.
Universities academic staff union responded over the weekend to comments made by Machogu.
UASU secretary general Constantine Wasonga issued a warning about an oncoming university crisis.
“Is he aware of what the President promised in his education charter? If you are appointed you need to know the manifesto of your coalition,” Wasonga said on Monday.
Saturday, Machogu warned public universities that they must consider how to create their own cash.
“I’m going to move around every university because several of them are faced with financial problems and we are encouraging that they must generate their own income because the exchequer as it is now is not going to continue funding more,” Machogu said.
According to Wasonga, President William Ruto has pledged to increase university spending from 46%.
“When he was being vetted by MPs he gave us hope but as it stands now there is no hope,” he said.
According to the University Fund, public institutions’ indebtedness totalled Sh56 billion.
Contractors owe public universities Sh1.4 billion, part-time professors Sh4.5 billion, suppliers Sh4.8 billion, and Sacco contributions Sh4.1 billion.
NSSF is owed Sh139 million, NHIF is owed Sh2 million, loan deductions are owed Sh1.3 billion, pension plans are owed Sh18 billion, PAYE is owed Sh13 billion, and other loans have accrued Sh10 billion.