In a recent development, the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), Dr. Mercy Wahome, has announced new directives regarding course fees at universities. According to Dr. Wahome, universities will be prohibited from revising fees for courses until students complete a minimum of four academic years.

During a media sensitization workshop on the students’ placement process and the new higher education funding model, Dr. Wahome emphasized that this measure is aimed at ensuring the effectiveness of the new funding model. The CEO clarified that universities will only be allowed to modify tuition costs for incoming students after thorough consultations. Additionally, she mentioned that students will be required to pay the same amount for the subsequent four years, even if the cost of their education decreases.

However, it should be noted that institutions retain the freedom to adjust fees for each intake, potentially leading to changes in the price of courses for each cohort.

Dr. Wahome expressed the underlying principle behind these guidelines, stating, “We are focusing on funding the students themselves. We have always stressed the importance of funding the student rather than the university because funding the university could potentially compromise the quality of education.”

Geoffrey Munari, the CEO of the University Fund, further explained that the new model also addresses the decline in the quality of education and the escalating burden of debt. “Our education system has been impacted, and it is imperative that we find solutions. The university’s debt was accumulating rapidly,” he acknowledged.

President William Ruto introduced the new funding model on Wednesday, May 3, as a solution to the prevailing debt crisis faced by public universities. He revealed that the government would increase its allocation to universities in the 2023/24 financial year from Ksh54 billion to Ksh84.6 billion.

Furthermore, President Ruto outlined that students would be categorized into three groups: Vulnerable, Less Vulnerable, and Able, each receiving funding based on their respective categories. He affirmed that the new funding model would be implemented in the upcoming academic year, with all continuing government-sponsored students receiving support in line with the previous model.

“Universities and TVET institutions will no longer receive block funding in the form of capitation based on a differentiated unit cost. Instead, student funding will be a combination of scholarships, loans, and household contributions on a graduated scale,” President Ruto explained.