Rogue universities now put on notice for violating fees guide

Universities Fund Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Monari. [Courtesy]

The government has put university bosses on notice for defying set guidelines and fees regulations under the new funding formula.

The Standard on Thursday revealed that various universities had expressed intention to flout the arrangement initially announced by the government as they indicated intent to review fees, a matter long settled.

However, Chief Executive Officer of the Universities Fund, Geoffrey Monari, on Friday said universities had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government barring them from increasing fees.

“It was a directive from his excellency the President. So we are watching as well to see who is going to defy it and we are going to report it to the CS (Cabinet Secretary) for further action,” Monari said on Friday.

“If you defy a directive, consequences will be there,” Monari cautioned while speaking during a media sensitisation workshop on the new funding formula in Naivasha.

The first cohort of students under the new funding formula will be admitted in September but some institutions such as Moi University will admit students in January.

Samples of various university admission letters reveal that some university heads have defied the regulations governing the new funding formula.

For instance an admission letter for Kisii University seen by The Sunday Standard indicates that new students will only receive government funding for two academic years.

“The government will categorise you (student) into the various student categories – Vulnerable, Extremely needy, Needy, Less Needy/Able. Failure to apply for the support, the University expects you to cater for your full fees. This offer is valid for only two academic years,” the letter reads in part.

It further indicates that the university fees could be reviewed, contrary to earlier communication from the University Funding Board. At Moi University, the admission letter warns students that they will not be allowed to take part in the admission exercise if they have not cleared their fees.

Meanwhile, the University Funding Board has indicated that by Thursday, 6,155 students had applied for government support under the new funding formula; either for scholarship, loan or both.

According to the fund, the government had budgeted for 155,814 students but only 140,107 have been placed under the new funding formula (130,485 in public, 9,662 in private universities). The scholarship amount for new entrants is Sh19.6 billion.

Monari further indicated that one of the common challenges observed under the new funding model is resistance by various stakeholders.

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