Brace yourselves to pay more fees to attend public universities

Public university students could pay more fees next year if Parliament approves a proposal by vice chancellors to raise charges three-fold.

The VCs made the proposal to meet the “declining financial situation” in the institutions.

Currently, students pay an average of Sh16,000 on top of the government capitation. This amount has been constant since 1989, when the total cost of training was set at Sh89,000.

A model the government uses to fund universities shows that the cost of running the cheapest course stands at Sh250,000 annually.

The proposal to the Budget and Appropriation committee means students will be required to pay an average of Sh48,000.

Vice Chancellor’s Committee chairperson Francis Aduol on Friday said the agreed amount will meet the discrepancies caused by inflation and shifts in economic scales.

“At the moment, what the government gives universities is not enough to run them. The funds are not even enough to pay staff. Vice chancellors are forced to run up and down and ensure the institutions still operate. This hurts the quality of education,” Aduol said at a conference in Nairobi.

Universities say students pursuing science courses have been the worst hit because practicals have been reduced.

Aduol said the staff-to-student ratio stands at 1:50 against the international recommendation of 1:15. He said staff salaries exceeded capitation in the last three financial years. This has consequently led to the institutions sinking into debts, the TUK boss said.

Data sent to the Education ministry on outstanding debts reveal that the universities cumulatively owe Sh7 billion. The financial problem has been worsened by deep budget reduction by the government.

This financial year, for example, the capitation granted to the universities was cut by Sh4 billion — from Sh39 billion in the previous financial year to Sh35 billion.

Alternative financing

Embu VC Daniel Mugendi said the growth of universities has not been matched with requisite funding. He said generation of revenue suffered with the increase in universities and decline in Module 2 or parallel programme students in 2016, following changes on how KCSE exams are administered.

Out of a total 160,000 slots available to fresh admissions, only 69,000 students qualified to get the cut-off mark for admission in both public and private universities.

This means at least 91,000 slots remain vacant, with no students to fill. This hurts Module 2 programmes as the number of government-sponsored students remained the same.

Education CS Amina Mohamed urged the universities to scout for alternative and innovative means of raising funds.

Speaking at the conference, Amina said universities should reengineer the dominant financing model — government funding —and come up with ways to improve it or propose a different funding model.

“Most universities will be severely crippled if the government stops remitting cash to them under the capitation model so there is need to ensure you are stable and stop relying on government funding,” she said.

In the last five years, student enrolment has risen from 122,847 in 2008 to 586,434 this year, with public universities having the largest number of enrolment ( 507,554 ).

The government spends about 27 per cent of its budget on education, with Sh103 billion going to universities.

Lewis Nyaundi

University warns female students not to go to library ‘half naked’!

A Zambian university has apologized for imposing a dress code on the female students. The notice advised female students not to visit its library “half-naked” because it would distract men.

The University of Zambia said it had no dress code and it would not “tolerate old discredited misogynist views”.

In a statement, university librarian Christine Kanyengo said the notice did not reflect the views of the library’s management.

“We would like to unreservedly apologise to our female library users for any offence caused,” she said.

University hostels more dangerous than city slums? Here are 13 activities why…

All female students should “feel comfortable” when using the library, Ms Kanyengo said. “Tolerance and diversity is the bedrock of our institution,” she added in a statement which the BBC’s Kennedy Gondwe has posted on Twitter.

Third-year student Dikina Muzeya, who had criticised the new rule, told the BBC she welcomed the apology.

“The library management should be more conscious about notices that are published, especially notices involving restrictions, such as dress code, on a particular sex,” she said.

Male student Killion Phiri had welcomed the ban when it was imposed.

“How can you concentrate on studying when someone walks in a mini-skirt or a tight dress?” he said.

-BBC

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University hostels more dangerous than city slums? Here are 13 activities why…

A recent research claims that Kenya universities hostels turned into dens of crime and drugs

The report indicated university students collude to cover up criminal activities, concealing the rot that now threatens the lives of many learners.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) report blames poor collaboration between universities/constituent colleges and the National Security Council for rising crime in the institutions of higher learning.

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“Universities (are) becoming hideouts and convergence points for criminals, especially in hostels,” says part of the report presented to Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed last week.

The report also revealed shocking details about active radicalisation cells in universities. It also emerged that politicians tap the mess of students’ ethnic alliances in hostels to build political bases that further threaten the safety and security of learners.

The commission’s chairman, Prof Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha, and the commission secretary, Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi, presented the report to the CS.

Overall, the report attributes the security lapses to laxity, saying little attention has been given to security concerns in universities and constituent colleges.

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Here are 13 shocking activities that take place in the campus hostels
  1. Weed selling and baking of weed cookies.
  2. Orgies shot for porn websites at premium fees.
  3. Making over the counter drugs concoctions like mixing codeine with tablets and sell them at room parties
  4. Snaking each other’s super daddies and sponsors. On weekends and public holidays rich old men are sported picking young girls from the hostels at the wee hours of the night.
  5. Pimping first years to old rich and influential men.
  6. Lesbianism and gay related activities
  7. Relationship instigated murders
  8. Violence and stabbing related to romantic relationships gone bad
  9. Recruitment into cults
  10. Suicides motivated by financial problems or failed romantic relationships
  11. Prostitution
  12. The rooms are used to store stolen items before they are fenced.
  13. Rent out hostel room for sex – It is called going on exile. Or renting it out to outsiders while student stays at home an collects the rent.

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