Bill Proposes Cutting 35 Private Universities From Govt Funding


The National Assembly, on Wednesday, debated a Bill presented by Khwisero Member of Parliament Christopher Aseka aimed at cutting government funding for 35 private universities. 

The University (Ammendsdments No 3) Bill of 2023, if passed into law, will not only cut funding for private universities but also bar the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) from placing students in the institutions. 

Aseka, while tabling the Bill, stated that it was aimed at ensuring the proper utilisation of public funds

“The object of the Bill is to safeguard public funds from misuse by private entities which have not been brought under the regulatory framework of the Public Finance Management, Act,” Aseka defended the Bill. 

ODM Leaders during a service at Immaculate Heart of Mary Misikhu Parish on May 29, 2023.

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Christopher Aseka

Under the University Act, private universities receive loans and conditional grants from public kitty financed by taxpayers. 

In the new amendment, only public universities will benefit from the University Fund, bringing an end to a practice that was introduced in 2017 by former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration. 

Aseka’s Bill  further seeks to amend  the following clause from the University Act, “KUCCPS  to coordinate the placement of the government-sponsored students to universities and colleges.” 

In the proposed amendment, the word public will be inserted before universities so as to bar private universities from receiving cash from the ex-chequer. 

On March 2023, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu directed that public universities would be eligible to access both government scholarships and loans, while those in private universities would be eligible for Government loans only

In the new proposal by the Khwisero legislator, however, private students will further lose their eligibility for government loans. 

In March, the National Assembly Education Committee Chair Julius Melly revealed that no audit was done on the Ksh8 billion given to private universities as capitation. 

“If you want to go to a private university, get your money and go there. We do not have a problem with that,” Melly had stated while signalling the end of the funding model.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu appearing before parliamentary committee on November 6, 2023

Photo

Parliament of Kenya





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