As at June 2022,public universities had accrued debts totalling to Ksh 56.1 billion.
According to the universities Fund, most public universities are close to collapsing.
The head of the university’s Fund, Geoffrey Monari says that public universities should look for other ways to make money.
Monari stated that institutes should not rely solely on government funding. “currently our universities are facing a profound financial crisis. The aftermath of covid-19 still lingers,” Monari said.
According to university fund data, the accrued debt comprises, remittances, part-time professors, saccos, contractors, suppliers among others.
The universities owe contractors, part-time professors, suppliers and saccos Ksh 1.4billion, ksh4. 5 billion, Ksh 4. 8 billion, Ksh 4.1 billion respectively.
“NSSF is owed Ksh 139 million, NHIF Ksh 2 million, loan deductions is worth Ksh 1.3bn, pension schemes Ksh 18bn and PAYE is owed Ksh 13bn while other loans have accumulated to Ksh 10 bn,” he said.
Monari explained the relying on government funding is risky because there is never enough money. He credits this to the ongoing rise in college and university enrolment.
For example, as 2022 KCSE students prepare for their exams, the Board anticipates an increase of 52,195 government funded students.
“The funding requirement for the 2022 cohort of 145,145 students is ksh32bn while the available funds are Ksh 12bn,” Monari said.
The University fund leader said the board could not meet the requisite funding percentage.
Under the differentiated unit cost funding system, the government must pay for 80 percent and universities must pay for other 20 percent.
Due to the country’s financial position, the allocation began at 66 percent. It was later cut to 48.11 percent and is now at 44 percent.
The current DUC requirement is Ksh 87billion, whereas the available budget is Ksh 47 billion, resulting to a deficit of Ksh 39 billion.
Monari advocated for the adoption of three solutions to resolve the university’s financial dilemma.
Due to the current economic climate, according to Monari, it is not advisable to raise university tuition fee.
“Admit students as per the available funds giving programs of national priority emphasis to enhance employability,” he said.
He also advocated for funding for kids from disadvantaged families who may be unable to afford tuition fee.
This is despite the fact that the vice Chancellor previously indicated that university students from Wealthy households should not be financed.
By the time KCSE students enroll in universities in 2022,tge government is supposed to have developed a sustainable way of funding.
Education stakeholders demand financing for students who are intelligent and in need.
Universities like Moi and Egerton, whose administrations have been fighting to stay afloat, have asked the government to come to their aid.
Prof. Walter Mwanda,a member of the board and the chair of audit and risk Committee, urged universities to rationalizes their academic to no-academic employee ratios.
The financial requirements for the 145,145 students in the class of 2022,according to him exceeds Ksh 32billion.
Mr. Monari stated that the current budget for government sponsored students was greater than Ksh 40 billion of which around Ksh 3 billion was allocated to students enrolled in public universities.
He noted that the government has numerous alternatives including, increasing students fees and admission based on available money.
To overcome the deficiencies, Mr. Monari recommended that only economically disadvantaged students be funded, stating that doing so would create financing parity.
During the 2021/2022 fiscal year, the number of GSS in public and private universities was 434,631 with a differential unit cost requirement of Ksh 87 billion compared to a budget of Ksh 47 billion.
He stated that the organisation had initiated resource mobilisation efforts to assist universities and alleviate government pressure.
Mr. Monari dis losed that they had recruited numerous funders and partners eager to sponsor certain programs such as mining agriculture and climate change.