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Ruto tells off critics over new university funding model

Ruto slams section of wealthy and salaried Kenyans who criticised his revised university funding model through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

While speaking at a church service in Riruta on Sunday, Ruto revealed that he had been made aware of murmurs circulating among some wealthy individuals who were upset about his new HELB formulae.

In the new formulae, the Head of State had revised university fees upwards and changed the criteria through which students would benefit from the funding. 

While some students would receive full scholarships, others would have to pay for their education out of pocket or obtain loans.

“We have added money to educate our TVET and University students. We have decided that we will not send money to universities for the students, we shall give the students scholarships,” he explained.

“We will figure out the needy students so that we can give them 100 per cent scholarships. Kenya is for all of us and we must factor in everybody.”

Nonetheless, Ruto insisted that the new formulae targeted children from poor households.

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Both university and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students would be covered by the additional funding.

“There are leaders who claim the model demands students to foot the fees in universities. Listen, the people I want to pay their full school fees are the children of these wealthy people and of those with a salary. (The fees) is not a lot of money, it is Ksh25,000 per semester,” he added.

“You (wealthy people) used to pay Ksh200,000 school fees for students in academies and expensive high schools yet you complain about paying Ksh25,000 in the university.”

In May, the Head of State after receiving recommendations from the Education task force led by Prof Raphael Munavu, indicated that universities will no longer receive the capitation per student.

“Universities and TVETS will no longer receive block funding in the form of capitation based on a Differentiated Unit Cost. Funding to students shall combine scholarships, loans and household contributions on a graduated scale,” Ruto stated at the time.

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