December 7, 2023


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Why Parliament has demanded special audit of private university funding

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Parliament has demanded a special audit of private university funding following concerns over the transparency and accountability of the funds received by these institutions.

The demand for a special audit was made during a parliamentary session, where MPs expressed concerns over the lack of information on how private universities are utilizing the funding they receive from the government.

MPs noted that private universities have been receiving substantial amounts of funding from the government over the years, but there is a lack of transparency and accountability in how the funds are utilized.

Speaking during the session, members of the Education Committee, noted that the demand for a special audit is aimed at ensuring that private universities are accountable for the funding they receive.

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“The demand for a special audit is aimed at ensuring that private universities are transparent and accountable in the use of public funds. This will help us to identify any areas of concern and take corrective measures where necessary,” MP said.

The special audit is expected to cover all private universities in the country, with a focus on their funding sources, expenditures, and overall financial management.

The move has been welcomed by education stakeholders, who believe that the special audit will help to restore public confidence in the private university sector.

“Transparency and accountability are critical in the management of public funds. The special audit of private university funding will help to ensure that these institutions are transparent and accountable in the use of public funds,” said a representative from a local education watchdog.

The special audit of private university funding is expected to commence in the coming weeks, and its findings will be made public.

Private universities have received a total of Sh13.75 billion from the time the government started placing students in the institutions five years ago.

Some private universities have been getting more money than public institutions that are saddled with debts and many struggling to remain financially afloat, Higher Education can reveal.

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The private entities have been gobbling up public universities’ lunch through the programme that was started in 2018 for them to admit students, with the government subsidising tuition fee.

Mt Kenya University (MKU) tops the list of beneficiaries of the programme, which is to come to an end if proposals to halt it are implemented. In the allocation MKU received Sh787.4 million for the GSS while 20 public universities got less that amount.

Other private universities that received huge allocations are Kabarak (Sh404,998,513), KCA (Sh299,247,672), Catholic University of East Africa (Sh259,566,606) and Kenya Methodist (Sh218,994,044).

The UF disburses money to institutions of higher learning using the differentiated unit cost (DUC), whose calculations are based on particular courses.

This is determined by among others, the staff cost, staff-student ratio, number of learners, cost of infrastructure and equipment as well as the level of the programme.

Excluding university colleges, Kirinyaga University had the least allocation of Sh358,634,303, followed by Taita Taveta University (Sh404,458,366).

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