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University Funding Agency wants Government Fee Subsidy Ended

University Funding Agency wants Government Fee Subsidy Ended

A university funding agency has proposed that the government only sponsor needy students rather than subsidize tuition for all students, as is currently the case.

The University Fund (UF) wants to shift the burden of higher education funding to only needy students.

According to CEO Geoffrey Monari, funding only needy students will allow the government to address financial challenges in universities while also promoting equality.

“There are parents who are capable of funding their children’s university fees and others who are very needy. Under this arrangement, the capable parents should be asked to pay for the fees and government to fully shift to fund only needy, bright students,” said Mr Monari.

The government is currently required to fund students at 80% of the differentiated unit cost. Students are expected to raise the remaining 20%.

The agency is requesting an additional Sh52.8 billion in funding to sponsor the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) 2021 cohort and the 2022 class, both of which are scheduled to take their final exams in November.

In his proposals to the National Treasury and Parliament, Mr Monari states that Sh20.1 billion will be used to support university allocations for the KCSE 2021 cohort, while Sh32.7 billion will be used to sponsor KCSE 2022 candidates.

According to the Fund, the Sh47.4 billion allocated for university sponsorship in 2022/23 is insufficient.

Sh44 billion of the funds are intended to sponsor 356,188 students in public universities, while Sh3.4 billion is intended to sponsor 78,443 students in private universities.

The government admitted 123,963 students from the KCSE 2021 cohort to universities in June.

In April, the students took their exams. Some students reported to university in July, while the vast majority will begin reporting next month. A similar number of KCSE 2022 graduates are expected to be placed.

“We do not have enough money to fund the students and, therefore, we are figuring out how to get more funds for the specific cohorts,” said Mr. Monari.

However, due to the Treasury’s low allocation, the government funds students in public universities at 48.1 percent, while students in private universities are funded at 21.9 percent.

According to Mr. Monari, relying on the Treasury to address the underfunding of government-sponsored students is unsustainable.

The Fund also suggests that the government raise student fees by Sh8,000 in the first year.

“The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) may be given these funds to issue as loan, therefore, increasing tuition sent to approximately 75 percent of the students from the KCSE 2021 cohort,” he said.

Mr. Monari estimates that increasing tuition funding will cost the government Sh870.8 million per year, or Sh3.5 billion over four years.

According to him, the fees can then be raised every four years in line with inflation.

UF also wants the government to fund only 85,302 students with B- or higher grades, which would cost Sh19.2 billion.

“The University Fund has continuously received appeals from universities indicating that they are unable to meet their running costs and statutory obligations.”

“This is, therefore, to appeal to Parliament to increase funding to the universities,” said Mr. Monari.

By next year, it is expected that 562,005 students will be enrolled in universities, an increase of 42,543 students, or an 8% increase over 2019.


The government expects 285,707 government-sponsored students to attend public universities and 110,000 government students to attend private universities.

In 2023, 264,974 undergraduate students will receive loans, while 37,125 will receive bursaries.

University Funding Agency wants Government Fee Subsidy Ended

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