NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – Government-sponsored students in private universities may be forced to go to public universities if they cannot afford to cater for extra costs required by the universities.
This is after Members of Parliament from the National Assembly Education Committee raised issues with private universities which are charging more fees for the government sponsored students placed in their institutions.
While appearing before the committee, The Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha said his ministry will engage with private Universities not to charge government-sponsored students higher tuition than what is set by the government.
“We can engage the private universities and tell them to withdraw from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service (KUCCPS) if they will charge any other fee apart from the 18 thousand but the elephant in the house are those students who are already in the system and I want you Mr Chairman to look at this proactively because it will not be practical to transfer a student who has a year or two years to go,” said Magoha.
He however added that if the private universities do not agree, the students will have no option but to transfer to public universities, go to compliant ones or pay the extra costs.
“They only have to pay exactly what the government is paying or shift to other universities. If it is the wish of this committee that we go and engage now we will because KUCCPS is here, and we are admitting now. If the private universities want to charge extra, then they have an option. Again, if the students want to stay in those universities and yet they do not want to incur other costs, we will have no option but to ignore them,” Magoha expressed.
Magoha was answering a question raised by Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe on the measures he is taking against Kabarak University which is charging regular students who joined through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service the same amount of fees as privately sponsored students.
There have been complaints from both parents and students that private universities are charging regular students same fee as those enrolled privately.
Some universities such as the United States International University (USIU) withdrew from KUCCPS after private universities were directed by the Ministry of Education to charge the students placed by KUCCPS the tuition rate charged for government sponsored students.
To date, USIU does not receive government-sponsored students.
In last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) 90,744 candidates who attained grade C plus were to be admitted to universities under government sponsorship.
Former Cabinet Secretary for Education Amina Mohamed said this during a press conference where she launched Kenya Universities and College Central Placement Service for the candidates on 6 February this year.
According to her, some 651,189 candidates qualified for placement to various universities, colleges and training institutions.
“Based on the 2018 KCSE results, 651,189 candidates qualified for placement to tertiary institutions at various levels under Government sponsorship. Of these, 90,744 attained a mean grade of C+ and above, meaning that they all qualified to join local universities. I wish to announce that all the candidates who scored C+ and above in the 2018 KCSE examination will be selected for admission to degree courses in both public and private universities,” she said.