Students from wealthy families will no longer be accessing government scholarships for their university education if new proposals by the University Funding Board (UFB), the State agency that guides allocations of student funds to universities, are adopted.
The move, according to the universities funding board, is aimed at enabling universities to stay afloat as well as ease over-reliance on the treasury for funding.
Under the current financing model, the government has been catering for about 80 percent of the cost of degrees per student, which meant that all learners in public universities regardless of their social status had to only pay about Sh28,000 annually. However, State support per student has dropped from 80 percent of the cost of a degree to the current 48 percent on the back of increased enrolment.
This has made things tough for financial institutions that are struggling to stay afloat especially coupled with a reduced enrolment rate for self-sponsored students.
In the 2020/21 financial year for instance, Sh87.317 billion was required to fully fund the 434,631 government-sponsored students at the universities but the Treasury only released Sh47.39 billion, leaving the universities with a hole of Sh39.91 billion.
Students from wealthy families will be expected to pay more fees compared to those from poor households.
“Evidence has shown that a number of households in Kenya, especially those in the middle and upper-income quotients, may not require any financial support to put their children through university education.”
The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) will be expected to vet students to determine who ails from affluent families.
The funding board estimates that the funding gap for government-sponsored students in public universities will hit Sh96.27 billion in the year ending next June, from the current Sh27 billion.
According to the University Funding Board, Sh20.1 billion is needed to fully finance students who sat their KCSE exam last year and a further Sh30.68 billion will be required to pay for those writing their national examinations next month.