HELB Allocated 1 Billion to Fund Students in Private Universities, Introduces Smart Cards

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semester, HELB loan Afya Elimu private

About Sh3 billion has been set aside to support government-sponsored students in private universities.

Kenya Universities Colleges Central Placement Service chief executive John Muraguri said Sh1 billion will go to the Higher Education Loans Board.

A total of 17,368 students have been placed in private universities, up from 12,000 who were admitted to private universities last year.

The government failed to provide Sh700 million last year to private universities and the new allocations to address the deficit.

Mr Muraguri said private universities received more students due to lack of space in public universities.

PLACEMENT AGENCY

He said the placement agency had to distribute more than 10,000 students, who had missed space in public universities, to the private institutions after they agreed to accommodate them at no additional cost.

Mount Kenya University has received the highest number of students at 2,905, Kabarak University will admit 1,286, Catholic University of East Africa (1,104) while University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, will take in 1,012.

Others are Africa International University (413), Africa Nazerene University(617), Daystar(340), Great Lakes University of Kisumu (262), Gretsa University(573), Kenya Assemblies of God University (764), KCA University (673), Kenya Methodist (1,146), Kenya Highlands Evangelical University (813), Kiriri Women  University (95) and Lukenya (465).

“All government-sponsored students, whether in public or private universities, are required  to pay the same fees which comprises tuition fee  of Sh16,000 per year and other administrative charges which on average amount to Sh30,000,” said Mr Muraguri.

INCREASING FEES

He cautioned universities against increasing fees arbitrarily, saying institutions that are not ready to abide by the guidelines should not take in students.

“I will be ready to take back the students and distribute them to other institutions,” said Mr Muraguri.

Vice-chancellors Committee chairman Francis Aduol said the admission of all students who scored C+ and above marks the end of parallel degree programmes in universities.

“Parallel programmes or module two was not supposed to be there. This year there will be no module two students,” said Prof Aduol.

He went on: “It should be the right thing, our objective should be that all students should go to university under government sponsorship.”

AFFECT REVENUES

However, Jomo Kenyatta University Vice-chancellor Mabel Imbuga regretted the decision to do away with parallel programmes, saying it would affect the revenue of universities across the country.

Commission for University Education acting chief executive Walter Oyawa asked universities to ensure they uphold high standards so that Kenyans can get quality education.

Prof Oyawa said the special audit working group had already started its work and would release its report soon.

“We have discussions going to ensure that capacities in universities are directly linked with facilities,” he said.

Helb chief operating officer Geoffrey Monari said all students who benefit from government loans this year will be required to have smart cards.

He said the students will receive loans through the smart cards to cater for tuition and accommodation charges instead of money being credited to their bank accounts.

Read the original article on the Daily Nation

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