Private universities have threatened to stop admitting government-sponsored students citing under-funding.
In a statement, the National Association of Private Universities in Kenya (Napuk) said inadequate funding from the government has slowed down operations in the institutions.
Led by Napuk Secretary-General Vincent Gaitho vice-chancellors from the private universities said the amount of money they receive from each government-sponsored student is unfairly cut forcing them to incur extra costs.
“There is a glaring discrimination in the implementation of the differentiated unit cost (DUC) by University Funding (UF) where government-sponsored students in private universities receive less than half DUC received by government sponsored students in public universities
“The cost of supporting university education funding for government-sponsored students in private universities has occasioned some to opt out and may cause more to follow suit,” Gaitho said.
The Education ministry in 2016 rolled out admission of government-sponsored students to private universities following a directive by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The move was in a bid to address congestion in public institutions of higher learning.
Uhuru said investment in higher education by the public, private sector and religious organizations should be looked at as one to see how to leverage investments to train more Kenyans.
“We need to find ways to best utilise the resources that we have and not be limited to public universities. Those private universities and religious institutions are also taxpayers. These resources belong to us,” he said.
Mount Kenya University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) and Daystar University are among the private universities that admit government-sponsored students.
Universities such as United States International University (USIU) and Strathmore University stopped admitting government-sponsored students due to under-funding.
A report tabled before parliament in November 2021 showed that the government had sent some 86,270 students to private universities since 2016.