The government is facing mounting pressure to release critical funds for new students in order to avert a potential crisis within public universities.
This is after university administrations sounded the alarm over the delayed disbursement for students who were admitted in September.
Almost two months later, vice chancellors of various universities have expressed their deep concern that they have admitted thousands of students without the expected financial support from government.
This has left their institutions struggling to sustain daily operations, resulting in a severe strain on the entire higher education system.
The urgency of the situation was made evident when teaching and non-teaching staff at the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) staged a demonstration demanding the release of their delayed salaries.
The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) has also claimed that their members are yet to receive their full salaries for the month of September.
Professor Paul Wainaina, the Vice Chancellor (VC) of Kenyatta University, underscored the significant impact of this crisis on their daily activities.
They have been forced to rely on funds allocated for continuing students to keep their operations afloat, deeply bringing out the contrast with smaller, recently established institutions.
These smaller institutions have fewer alternative avenues for funding, rendering them even more vulnerable.
The repercussions of this funding delay are not limited to university operations; they also extend to the welfare of the students.
Needy students who depend on loans provided by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) are affected as they cannot meet their demands, including food and accommodation.
This situation demands swift action to ensure the stability of Kenya’s higher education system and the well-being of its students.
By Viola Chepkemoi
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