How New Funding Model Alters Course Choices and Dreams for Students

Investigation reveals that individuals and families are now prioritizing affordable university courses over their aspirations and qualifications due to a new funding model introduced last year.

This model has led to accumulating fee balances that are expected to increase as individuals advance in their studies.

The next cohort under this funding model will enroll in August and September.

Many plan to apply for inter-university transfers once the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps) system opens tomorrow.

Those wishing to change courses within the same university can do so via university portals.

Annual Applications and Need-Based Funding

The new funding model requires annual applications for government sponsorship, with funding based on need as determined by the Universities Fund (UF) and the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb).

Last week, President William Ruto met with all public university vice-chancellors to evaluate this model.

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State House reported that vice-chancellors affirmed the model’s functionality and predicted improvements in public universities within three years, as all students would be absorbed under this system.

Many recount different experiences. Last year, delays in fund disbursement left individuals without money for upkeep, causing rent arrears and unpaid tuition fees at universities. T

his year, 134,743 candidates have been placed in public universities, but 47,872 eligible individuals chose not to pursue degree courses, with 11,991 opting for diplomas and 35,881 unaccounted for.

Abandoning Preferred Courses

These circumstances have forced many to abandon their preferred courses due to financial constraints, reconsidering options for more affordable programs.

This trend highlights the broader impact of the funding model on education choices.

Many face uncertainty about completing their studies due to partial funding.

Scholarships and loans often fall short of covering the full costs, leaving families to make up the difference, which can lead to significant financial strain and missed examinations.

Individuals delaying entry to higher education due to financial constraints further illustrate the struggles under the new funding model.

These delays can result in only being eligible for diploma and certificate courses, not the desired degree programs, highlighting the ongoing challenges.

Encouragement for Transfers

These cases represent thousands now forced to choose affordable courses rather than their preferred ones.

University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama Gitahi encouraged individuals to use the inter-university transfer window, opening on August 11, 2024, for transfers ahead of the August 19, 2024, reporting date.

Despite receiving 800 more candidates than last year, many programs still have available slots due to increased declared capacities.

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However, Helb’s Sh11.4 billion financing deficit in the 2024/25 budget means it can only fund continuing students and 17.2% of first-year students enrolling in August and September 2024, leaving others unsupported.

The National Assembly Committee on Education plans to meet with Higher Education Principal Secretary Beatrice Inyangala to discuss the funding model.

How New Funding Model Alters Course Choices and Dreams for Students

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