University Funding Board which is mandated to finance universities in Kenya, is seeking to stop the funding of undergraduate programmes in private universities over claims of unsustainability, a move that is likely to scrap private universities government-sponsored-students.
The program which came to existence in 2016 has successfully managed to sponsor over 47,000 students in various private universities in Kenya. According to the latest statistics, about a half of of the student's population in some private universities are financially sponsored by the state.
When it was introduced, all students with C+ grades and above were eligibly enrolled into universities under government's sponsorship program that saw an end of pararel degrees in public institutions.
Most private universities could not get enough students to enroll as before since most students got enrolled to public institutions due to the new cut-offs points. Due to the outcry by owners of public universities, the state decided to enroll publicl sponsored students into undergraduate programs in private institutions.
In what was seen as a strategy counter inadequate capacity in public universities, both private and public universities were given opportunity to announce their capacity of courses they offered to the KUCCPS for students placement.
Over 6000 students with C+ and above grades, got enrolled to private universities under government sponsorship program in 2016, in consideration to their course preference as capacitated by the government.
The number of admitted students in private universities increased to over 12,000 in 2017 and about 11,232 in 2018. In last year more than 17,000 students enrolled to public universities under Differentiated Unit Cost formula by the government.
The above formula allows students in science-enrolled courses to get higher funding than those in in business and arts. UFB claims, private universities have been unable to meet student's academic requirements due to lower allocation of resources which are not quit effective.
UFB however recommends that students already enrolled to private universities be allowed to finalizing their programs under government sponsorship. Most universities will lose control over important revenue channels should the UFB succeed in its course.
The UFB is pushing for financial capacity terms and strategic interests in sponsoring students in public institutions. Further, the board seeks to fund private universities courses that are not available in public universities only.
The board proposes establishment of policies that will guide the placement and funding of students in private universities. They argue that private institutions will highly compete under conditional grants, and effectively compete under partnership projects.
The proposal will limit the number of fuculties offered in private universities in order to enable the admission if government sponsored students if approved. The current government has been advising universities to concentrate on STEM education. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Special funding proposal
On this section, UFB Seeks to funding students with disability, and women who are enrolled in STEM, masters programs or PhD. They propose a thousand slots every year for this category where they are intending to spend atleast 288,000 Kenyan shillings
Ksh564,000 is proposed to be spent annually in funding 5000 estimated STEM female students. Ksh.384,000 is proposed for masters study of 1,500 students and Ksh972,000 annual spending to 500 PhD students.