New Funding Plan To Ensure University Students From Poor Backgrounds Pay Less Tuition Fees
The government is considering a new funding plan that would reduce tuition for university students from low-income families.
According to the Standard, a new tool is being developed to track parents’ fee payment history from elementary to secondary school.
This will help to categorize those who will pay more in tertiary institutions and universities.
Geoffrey Monari, CEO of the Universities Fund, stated that the merit-based model would prioritize poor students pursuing courses of national importance.
In essence, a parent whose children attended high-end primary and secondary schools may be among those who will pay higher university tuition.
Monari stated that the proposed model is consistent with the current administration’s agenda of assisting the most vulnerable.
“Where is the joy in a student not being able to join online classes, yet another in the same class has all the gadgets they need,” posed Monari.
However, he stated that the model would be implemented only after full public, student, and stakeholder participation, as required by the Constitution, to inform them on how the process can be modelled to accommodate everyone.
He also stated that there is a need to forge a path forward, noting that they are considering several options.
One is raising student fees, and the other is a new proposal to fund students based on their parents’ financial capabilities.
“Why should a student who paid so much money in primary and secondary school to get quality education come to University, to pay only Sh64,000 annually and yet Universities don’t have the facilities to ensure this student gets quality education?” Monari said.
“If you are able to pay, why don’t you pay the full fees, if there’s a needy student who comes from a totally needy background, the government pays for all equipment, including a laptop so they can go through university education comfortably?” Monari added.
Monari observed a significant disparity in universities, citing examples of students who could barely afford a meal a day while others drove to school, despite the fact that both received government funding.
Monari explained that Equity does not imply paying for the wealthy but looking at the person who needs funding and supporting them so that they can be lifted from where they are to the same level as the rich student whose parents can afford fees comfortably.
Monari stated that there is still a Sh27 billion funding gap, despite the government issuing a Sh10 billion increase in the last ten years.