Private universities have said they may increase fees next year if the Commission for University Education (CUE) charges are not revised.

In a memorandum to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, the Kenya Association of Private Universities (Kapu), the institutions now want the problem of multiple accrediting agencies addressed.

"In order to harmonise the work of different accrediting agencies, the private universities are recommending that the CUE be mandated as the only accrediting agency and to work with other professional accrediting agencies to accredit and audit academic programmes and facilities in universities," the memorandum dated December 16 partly reads.

Kapu said the accreditation stalemate created by the various agencies was hurting students and fanning chaos in institutions.

"There are several professional accrediting agencies in Kenya today, for example Nursing Council of Kenya, Kenya Nutrition and Dietetics Institute and Legal Education Council. The multiplicity of accrediting bodies has brought conflicting guidelines, confusion and unnecessary waste of resources," Kapu said. The association went on to warn that starting next year, they may increase fees to accommodate the new rates effected by CUE.

They also questioned the legality of the charges as they were gazzetted by the CUE chairperson and not the Education Cabinet secretary.

Under the new levies, universities will now pay an annual fee of Sh1,000 to CUE for every student pursuing an undergraduate programme. This means that a student admitted in first year shall have this amount paid for him or her for the next four years until he or she exits the university.

All public and private universities will also pay another Sh1,500 per master's student admitted, and Sh2,000 per PhD student. Universities with postgraduate diploma students will pay Sh800 per student, annually.

CUE Chief Executive Officer David Some yesterday said universities do not have a choice but to pay.

"If they don't pay we don't quality-assure their programmes. And we shall pull down their programmes from our websites," Prof Some said.