Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Universities Fund Geoffrey Monari. [Courtesy]

The Universities Fund is looking for Sh400million to effectively discharge its functions.

The funding agency is underfunded by the exchequer according to their 2021 – 2026 strategic plan that was made public today.

According to the strategic plan, they received a paltry Sh46.22million in the 2020/21 financial, the amount the agency says it’s not enough for them to achieve on their mandate.

The report further shows that a big chunk of the budget they get -goes into payment of salaries and administration costs which stands at 52 per cent and only 13 per cent goes directly to the Fund’s core mandate.

The Fund’s Chief Executive Officer, Geoffrey Monari, said that in the current financial year that’s ending on June 30, they received a paltry Sh66million which in turn stalled their operations.

 “Important capabilities are lacking in research, data management, monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilization, communication, partnerships and human resource management and training,” said Monari.

He went on: “For the agency to function optimally, we need to have at least Sh400million in a bid to meet operationalisation costs, improvement of its facilities and equipment,”

Monari said the fund requires data to make decisions on the disbursements of funds to universities but they don’t have, adding that data on the numbers of government sponsored students in universities is instrumental in the determination of funding to individual universities, development of policy and putting in place proper audit systems on the use of the disbursed funds.

“The numbers we currently receive from universities are inaccurate as they are manually computed resulting in wastage of time in collecting and verifying the data received,”

He added: “A centralised data management system that is integrated with Held, the Commission for University Education (CUE), the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps) and the individual universities database on students would enhance transparency and accountability,”

At the same time, the agency strategic fund shows gaps in the funding of university education. Like in the 2020/21 financial year, 271,446 students were enrolled to public universities and the approved budget was Sh41.907billion which was less by Sh27.359billion.

In the same year. 61,541 students were admitted to private universities and the approved budget was 2.73billion which was less Sh9.375billion.

By Brian Ngugi 23 mins ago
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