Cs Machogu works to have pending bills for public universities cleared.
The National Treasury and different stakeholders are currently in conversations with the Ministry of Education about the possibility of reducing the Sh63 billion in outstanding debt that public institutions have.
Ezekiel Machogu, the director of education, recently disclosed that reports from various universities are being gathered.
In an effort to evaluate the likelihood of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) waiving some dues owed as statutory deductions that have not been deposited due to budgetary constraints, the reports will be given to pertinent government departments and other stakeholders.
Universities will still be compelled to pay their supplier obligations if this proposal is accepted.
According to Machogu, 32 public universities have accumulated pending bills totaling Sh63 billion over the last six years.
The financial burden is a result of insufficient funding, which is mostly blamed on a fall in enrollment in parallel degree programs, a major source of university income.
Only 68% of the entire funds needed by public institutions during this time period was distributed, which caused debt to accrue.
The economic and social circumstances of children were not taken into account by the previous funding approach, called Differentiated Unit Cost (DOC). For universities and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions, the new funding model, which is categorized based on students’ risk and needs, is anticipated to alleviate these financial issues.
According to the new plan, government scholarships will pay for 82% of tuition costs, and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), which has set aside Sh29 billion for this purpose in the current fiscal year, would cover the remaining 18%.
According to information from the Ministry of Education from 2021, state universities had a combined debt of Sh62 billion as of the previous year, and several of them were in financial trouble.
The number of students enrolled in public universities climbed marginally from about 562,100 at the start of the 2021/22 academic year to about 563,000 throughout the 2022/23 academic year, despite these budgetary difficulties.
Public universities mainly rely on government funding, and the high admissions rate has put a burden on their budget due to insufficient funding and slow government money release.
The National Treasury granted about Sh80 billion for higher education in the current fiscal year (2022–2023), despite the fact that universities had requested Sh180 billion in their budget plans to run efficiently.