Government Set To Reduce University Funding
IThe government has warned of an impending reduction in university funding with Yatani urging innovation on the part of universities
This was revealed by Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani who stated that the government will not keep funding universities to the levels that they desire.
During an interview with the Star, CS Yatani said that universities should find innovative ways of sorting their financial challenges, implying that they have to begin raising funds through commercial ventures.
The ex-chequer warned universities, telling the institutions to think “outside the box” to fund their day to day operations.
CS Yatani stressed that the government is not going to carry the burden of funding the majority of the funds required for the training of students.
According to CS Yatani, universities should consider raising tuition fees from the current Sh. 40,000 per year to a worrying Sh. 100,000. However, this move could lead to many students being locked out of university with a majority of Kenyans barely making it through the current Sh. 40,000.
According to Yatani, the cost of training a student cannot be less than the Sh. 200,000 when tuition, lectures and the library are factored in.
“Students pay 40,000 and the government covers the rest of the amount. This is why it is not sustainable,” said Yatani.
Universities’ Academic Staff Unions supported calls for an increase in fees urging a gradual increase rather than an immediate one.
The Ex-Chequer argued that for the government to continue funding universities, it may have to raise taxes. However, he added that with the cost of living already high, the government may not raise taxes due to the negative impact that this might cause.
Yatani urged universities to stop depending on the government and shift to other alternatives that can help in raising tuition fees, this, in turn, he said, can improve the quality of education.
He also argued that most universities believe that it is up to the government to fund them.
Besides, the ex-chequer said that patronage that leads to people being selected to positions only because they are aligned to a certain politician has to change.