Universities can only increase tuition fees after consultations with stakeholders, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has said.
But Amina appeared to support the fees hike when she noted that universities were facing serious financial challenges, which would result in a crisis if not addressed on time.
“Universities are facing serious financial challenges and we need to come up with ways of addressing them as soon as possible,” said Amina.
She said she would engage universities, Parliament and Treasury to discuss ways of supporting institutions in financial difficulties.
“We are already having conversation over the matter. We started with management of universities and we will continue the conversations with Parliament and Treasury to find a way we can support universities that are having difficulties,” added the CS.
Vice chancellors said Government funding, since 1970’s, had increased three times and proposed that tuition fees should also go up.
This came as seven MPs warned of a fierce court battle against public universities’ proposal to hike fees.
The MPs also hit out at Amina and Higher Education Loans Board Chief Executive Charles Ringera over suggestions the police should help the board to hunt down loan defaulters.
MPs Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Antony Oluoch (Mathare), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West), John Paul (Igembe South), Brighton Yegon (Konoin) and Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga) said increasing university fees would lock out hundreds of bright but poor students.
“The proposal to increase tuition fees is unacceptable, and tomorrow (today), we are going to file an injunction to prevent vice chancellors from increasing university fees,” said Owino during a press conference at Parliament Buildings yesterday.
At the moment, the Government pays Sh70,000, while each student pays Sh16,000 per year, for tuition. Universities say they can no longer continue to charge Sh16,000 per student as it has become unsustainable.