Private Universities Address Concerns of Fee Increment

  • Private universities have addressed concerns on whether they would opt to increase fees as had initially been proposed by their public counterparts. 

    Simon Gicharu, chairman of the National Association of Private Universities in Kenya, affirmed that technology and innovation are key to aid them in coping with the tough economic times- hence no need to increase the fees.

    “All sectors of the economy are in turmoil. Whereas universities are independent of each other, and the association’s mandate is not to dictate to members how to run their institutions, I’m of the view that outsourcing non-core functions like security, cleaning, and transport could help address the high operating costs.

    An undated file image of the chairman of the National Association of Private universities in Kenya, Simon Gicharu.
    An undated file image of the chairman of the National Association of Private universities in Kenya, Simon Gicharu.

    “The solution lies in innovation and heavy reliance on ICT diversification and operational efficiency,” Gicharu told Nation.

    Further, he debunked the perception that private universities are expensive and reserved for the rich, due to the fees they charge as opposed to public universities. 

    “It is good you refer to it as perception, it remains merely that. We have hosted many poor students and they will tell you there is no much difference in terms of cost,” he stated. 

    The news comes as Education CS George Magoha had suspended the changes instituted by the University of Nairobi (UoN) vice-chancellor Stephen Kiama. 

    Magoha pointed out that neither he nor President Uhuru Kenyatta had given the approval of reforming institutions. He added that the universities had to consult the government before instituting any reforms.

    Kiama had initially argued that the changes implemented at UoN were done by the University Council which did not need the government’s approval.

    Among these changes involved the scrapping of six colleges and trimming of 35 faculties into 11 in order to avoid duplication of courses. 

    Kiama also doubled the institution’s fees; a move that was halted by the Education Ministry. 

    UoN VC Professor Stephen Kiama addresses first years during a virtual orientation on Thursday, September 3, 2020