Magoha appoints new Universities Fund boss

Geoffrey Monari has been appointed Universities Fund Chief Executive Officer for a term of five years.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha made the appointment that takes effect on October 16.

Monari, who until his appointment has been the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) Chief Operations Officer, takes over from Milton Njuki, who has been acting CEO since 2016.

Monari holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and an MBA from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). He is also a board director of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

He takes over the leadership of the Fund that is tasked with six critical functions, including apportioning funds to public universities in accordance with the established criteria.

The Fund, under his leadership, is also expected to advise the Education CS on matters of university education funding and related policy issues.

For the next five years, Monari will oversee implementation of transparent and fair criteria for allocation of funds to public universities and issue conditional grants to private universities.

And in consultation with the chairs of councils of public universities, he will oversee the smooth implementation of the maximum differentiated unit cost (DUC) for the programmes offered.

Implementation of the DUC has been running for about two years now and Monari will be expected to enhance its rollout, even as universities continue to cite under-funding.

The Fund's mandate also includes establishing the minimum discipline differentiated remuneration for universities' academic staff, which is expected to be fair and globally competitive. This has been a sticky issue among university staff, with union workers protesting the remuneration regimes envisaged under this Fund’s mandate.

The biggest task however shall be to mobilise and receive funds for purposes of the Fund from the government, donors and any other source.

As Helb COO, Monari's record shows he increased loan recovery performance from Sh4 billion in 2015/16 to Sh4.9 billion in 2019/2020.