MPs Move To Bail out Financially-Crippled Public Universities.
MPs are considering bailing out financially ailing public universities with debts totaling nearly Sh43 billion.
According to a National Assembly budget committee report, the crisis was caused by a failure to fully implement the new funding formula.
The government funds 40% of varsities using the Differentiated Unit Cost model.
When this mode is fully implemented, public universities will have access to resources and will be able to address some challenges.
The remaining 60% will be collected through projects, school fees, and other internal revenue-generating procedures.
According to University Education PS Simon Nabukwe, just as the government is planning to save Kenya Airways, universities require the same.
Kanini Kega’s report promised increased funding for universities.
Legislators claim that funding for varsity projects is constantly reduced, preventing them from being completed.
“The capital projects which are being targeted for 2022/2023 should be guarded against supplementary budget cuts to allow for their completion,” the report said.
The legislators also agreed to implement a data system to track students’ progress.
The system will aid in identifying students who are currently enrolled in the school system as well as those who have been deferred or dropped out.
According to the report, there is a need for all universities to have a credible and centralised pool of data to aid planning and budgeting.
Universities Funding Board was given three months to report on the system’s progress.
The lawmakers urged the higher education sector to connect the data to National Education Management Information Systems.
Nemis collects data and information from institutions to aid in school administration.
However, it is unclear how much money the board will require to put the system in place.
The report stated that there is a need to support the funding board in establishing the university education information system through resource allocation.
Students who stay in school for longer than the prescribed period will be expelled as soon as the system is implemented.
This includes students who continue to defer and are de-registered from the school system for a variety of reasons.
A student pursuing a degree, for example, will not be in school for more than four years unless there is a valid reason.
The University of Nairobi was the first to deal with overstaying students.
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In 2021, the administration aimed for at least 32,000 students who stayed in school for longer than required.
Students were de-registered, and courses were canceled.
Other universities have promised to use internal measures to evict overstaying students.