Parents asked to get student fee refunds from universities

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Parents who had paid fees for their children to get admission into universities can now claim a refund from their respective institutions.

Vice Chancellors said no parent or student was forced to pay fees and noted that those who parted with money did on their own volition.

“If there is any parent who has paid, they must have paid that out of their own will, without being forced. And therefore, what will happen when the categorisation comes and maybe they will not be required to pay, then the university will be able to refund,” said Prof Daniel Mugendi, chairperson of the Vice Chancellors Committee.

The reaction comes after The Standard revealed how some university vice chancellors are defying a government directive to ask for fees before admitting first year students.

A spot-check by the Standard reveals some institutions are asking students to pay up seven per cent of the tuition fees, regardless of their classification, before they are cleared for admission.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu had directed that no university student shall be denied admission because of fees.

However, Prof Mugendi who doubles as the Embu University VC, defended his fellow varsity heads noting that no institution required any parent to pay any form of tuition fees.

However, The Standard in interviews with students on Thursday, revealed that some institutions had denied students some forms required for admission due to failure to pay the equivalent of seven per cent of their fees.

“The new first year students that are currently being admitted into public universities are not required to pay any tuition fees under the new funding model until the higher education fund (comprising the Universities Fund and HELB) finalizes the categorisation of the students,” Prof Mugendi said.

The Vice Chancellors' Committee further indicated that Kenyatta University has already admitted 7,752 out of the 7,979 students placed by KUCCPS.

Kisii University has already admitted 7,160 out of the 8,670 students placed, while Moi University has admitted 4,103 out of the 5,480 students placed.

Mugendi said that students seeking other services out of the tuition fees such as accommodation can pay the required amount.

“The guardians also need to see how they can support the students in the meantime, such as accommodation and the meals before the categorisation is done,” Mugendi said.

On Friday, data from the Universities Funding revealed that so far some 109,100 students placed in universities had applied for either the government scholarship, loans or both.

This means some 31,007 students are yet to apply for government funding. On the other hand, another 53,736 students in TVET institutions have also applied for government funding.

On Wednesday, Machogu extended scholarship and loans applications to October 7.