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Ruto promises to engage Universities on the new funding model

Ruto promises to engage Universities on the new funding model as the government seeks to Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

To address the financial crisis that is endangering the viability of higher education institutions, the government is working on a funding formula for both public and private colleges.

President William Ruto claims that inadequate financial systems for universities are to blame for underfunding, but he pledged to find a long-term fix.

‘‘Most of our universities are facing many challenges and serious debts and recently one of the university CEOs was taken to court. The reason is that we are giving half of the required funding in our universities,’’ he said during an interview with the media on Wednesday.

Given that the State is funding so many students with little resources, Ruto stated that the government must work with universities to help them out of their current predicament.

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‘‘We are going to have a conversation with both public and private universities and from there, where we are possibly not going to finance, we have to be honest with ourselves,’’ Ruto said.

President Ruto highlighted that many parents who are able to pay for their children’s basic education in academies then resort to university funding, which excludes students who are less fortunate.

‘‘We have students in academies all through from standard one to form four, but when they go to university we want to tell them we can pay for all of them,’’ Ruto stated.

‘‘We need to be honest with ourselves that let those who can afford pay and let us think about how we can assist those who cannot afford rather than pretending that we are going to support all the children even when we are not in the position to.’’

Ruto promised to collapse the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), University Funding Board, and TVET Fund and introduce a National Skills and Funding Council, dubbed National Education Fund, which will mobilize grants, bursaries, and scholarships link the two levels to provide credit transfer framework and support academic progression.

“To bridge the current higher education funding gap of up to 45 percent, the government will establish the National Skill and Funding Council that amalgamates HELB, TVET, and University Funding Board,’’ Ruto said.

According to the current budget, HELB is allocated a capitation of Sh15.8 billion, University Funding Board Sh91.2 billion, and TVET Fund Sh5.2 billion.

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