No more new schools, CS Amina Mohamed says Next Story
Top private schools to be funded by state Previous Story
Today's Paper
You are here  » Home   » Education

Varsities advised to re-assess courses

By Augustine Oduor | Published Fri, September 14th 2018 at 00:00, Updated September 13th 2018 at 22:22 GMT +3

Universities must streamline academic programmes and check staff numbers to prudently utilise State funds, the Universities Funding Board (UFB) has said.

According to UFB, this will end the perennial complaints of under-funding despite the Sh36 billion allocated by the Government to public universities.

ALSO READ: Kenya feted in Abuja meeting of polytechnics

“What we are saying is that universities must now assess the programmes they offer as a way of funding,” said UFB Chief Executive Officer Muthomi Njuki yesterday.

Mr Njuki said the board was concerned by the prevalent duplication of courses in different institutions with little regard given to specialisation.

“Why is everyone offering a bachelor of education degree, for instance, yet there are many other critical areas that the Government has prioritised?” he said.

Njuki warned that the replication of programmes meant duplication of funding and resources thus increasing the cost of teaching.

“It must not be business as usual. This tendency also leads to unemployment because most students cannot find specific areas of specialisation,” he said.

Stay informed while on the go by subscribing to the Standard Group SMS service. Text the word 'NEWS' to 22840.

Claims by universities of under-funding followed the UFB's decision to roll out the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) system of funding.

Enrolment numbers

The new formula strictly uses student enrolment numbers and academic programmes to allocate funds.

ALSO READ: NSSF plan to go after six per cent of your salary hits a snag

This is a stark departure from the past when every academic programme was allocated a flat rate of Sh120,000 each year.

Under the 26-year-old funding formula, the Government paid a flat rate of Sh70,000 per programme per student.

Students’ fees were fixed at Sh16,000, with costs of other needs such as books, food and accommodation met by the Higher Education Loans Board.

But under the DUC system, all programmes have been grouped into 14 clusters and the cost of teaching is fixed.

For instance, it costs Sh600,000 to train one dentist for one academic year while it costs Sh576,000 to train one student of medicine in a year.

Teaching pharmacy requires Sh432,000 per student, with Arts (General) requiring a minimum of Sh144 000 every year.

“Our funding formula is open, fair and transparent, and anyone can verify it. We shall kick-start a data cleaning exercise this year in readiness for next year's funding,” said Njuki.

ALSO READ: Kenyan universities should be the drivers of Big Four agenda


Would you like to get published on Standard Media websites? You can now email us breaking news, story ideas, human interest articles or interesting videos on: [email protected]