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PS Collette Suda urges varsities to find alternative sources of funds

By VICTOR RABALLA
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Education PS Collette Suda is proposing a special funding kitty for Kenyan universities as a way of providing alternative sources of money for their programmes.

The PS argues institutions of higher learning should also be weaned from of the exchequer and be encouraged to innovate ways of financing their programmes, if the country is to develop to middle income level.

Speaking during the 17th graduation ceremony of Maseno University, Prof Suda pointed out that the establishment of the Universities Funding Board will help universities source for funds and other resources, as well a better management of their budgets.

QUALITY EDUCATION

The PS reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring the delivery of quality education and training.

“The new model of university funding will also deal with inequalities in the manner of distributing resources,” she said.

Under the new system known as the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC), the government will use a funding formula that will strictly use students’ enrolment numbers and the courses they take to allocate funds.

This will be a marked departure from the current practice where the government pays a flat rate of Sh70, 000 per academic programme per student.

“The alternative ways of funding universities would greatly reduce the financial burden on parents and make university education accessible for majority of Kenyans,” she said.

Prof Suda however called on university administrations to maintain transparency and high standards of accountability in the management of the resources.

Maseno University Vice-Chancellor Prof Julius Nyabundi said the university was already diversifying programmes and focusing on research.

“The university remains committed to its mandate of providing quality education and training in a variety of fields through its 14 schools and the Institute of Gender Studies,” he said.

The University’s don, Prof Mathews Dida, an agriculturalist, for example has developed a type of maize breed that can outcompete a common weed called striga which often retards the growth of maize.

This, the VC said, will help the Institution contribute to food security in the country.