Parents and students in institutions of higher learning have received a shocker after a unanimous resolution by Treasury officials, National assembly’s education committee and key education stakeholders to hike fees from the current shillings 16,000 to 48,000.
The decision was made in a gathering met yesterday evening in Mombasa County by the parliamentary education committee, vice-chancellors, treasury officials and education stakeholders.
The national assembly’s education and research committee chairperson who is also the Busia County women representative, Mrs Florence Mutua
confirmed that the current charges have not been revised since 1989 despite the rise in the cost of running operations in institutions of higher learning.
To protect parents from feasible exploitation, madam Mutua suggested that the higher education loans board consequently increases allocations per student.
“We agreed that everything is done at Helb level because the hard economic times, for now, may not allow for any fees increment,” Ms Mutua said.
The recurrent funding to universities is based on Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) model where the government caters for 80 per cent of the unit cost while students pay 20 per cent through HELB loans and household support in tuition fees.
The committee said low funding to universities has led to the accumulation of pending checks of Sh36.7 billion, which include statutory deductions, capital development expenditure, CBA increase of wages and salaries.
PS Nabukwesi said the annual requirement per student is estimated at Sh200,000 but Helb currently provides Sh68,000, leaving a huge deficit.
“There is a need to increase individual loans to a maximum of Sh80,000 and a minimum of Sh68,000 to meet the growing variance,” said the PS.
“Most of the universities are currently insolvent as they cannot meet statutory obligations,” said the PS.