State Begins Auditing Fee Structures of Private Universities
A government agency has begun auditing the fee structures of private universities that admit state-sponsored students in a bid to streamline institution funding.
The Universities Funding Board (UFB) has written to the vice-chancellors of the 31 private universities asking them to submit fee structures dating back to 2017.
The year coincides with when the second cohort of government-sponsored students were placed in various private institutions through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
“We would like to request the fee structure for government-sponsored students from fiscal years 2017/2018 to 2022/2023,” UFB Chief Executive Geoffrey Monari said in a letter to VCs dated July 28, 2022. To date, private universities have received over 12 billion shillings of funding under this plan.
VCs are required to comply with the request on Monday next week, which UFB says will help verify fee adjustment trends at institutions.
Government-sponsored students were first admitted to private universities in 2016 when the state launched a pilot program targeting 10,000 learners aimed at expanding access to university education in the country.
The program started with an allocation of 2 billion shillings. The first cohort comprised 6,312 students, each receiving an average of Sh70,000 before the average stipend increased to Sh84,217 per student for the second cohort comprising 18,587 students.
The number of ESGs at private universities has since followed an upward trajectory, rising to 78,650 in the year to June. The approved budget allocation, however, increased at a slower rate to 3.1 billion shillings against a requirement of 12.2 billion shillings, resulting in an average allocation of 40,366 shillings per student.
State funding to public and private universities is based on the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) model whereby institutions are allocated budgets based on the number of undergraduate students they enroll in the program publicly funded regular education and the types of courses they take.
According to the model, the government should cover 80% of the unit cost while the balance is borne by students and institutions. A cash crunch, however, caused state allocations to fall to around 20.6% for GSSs at private universities.
Mr Monari said an analysis of fee structures at private institutions will enable UFB to advise the Cabinet Secretary for Education on funding universities from an informed position.