Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi has clarified that only university councils are mandated to review fees for their institutions.
Prof Kaimenyi told university students planning a countrywide demonstration on Monday that fees would not be increased without their input.
“The body mandated to increase university school fees is the university council, not Kaimenyi. The vice-chancellors have only shared with me the need to review the school fees. I want to assure students that they will be consulted,” said the Cabinet secretary.
While launching the National Conference on Special Needs Education, Kaimenyi maintained that the ministry had not developed any schemes to increase varsity fees.
On Tuesday, public university students staged a protest across the country over the intention to raise fees. The CS said plans were underway to review differentiate unit cost, saying it was important to cost courses offered at university level based on the needs of the course.
He said it was illogical for students doing medicine, engineering and dental surgery courses to be given the same amount of money as those doing a bachelor’s degree in economics and other social sciences.
“We are going to review the different unit costings for various courses so that we look at the needs of a student doing a particular course. You cannot give a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in medicine or dental surgery the same amount as one doing economics,” said Kaimenyi.
Currently, the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) gives only up to Sh60,000 to any student who applies and qualifies.
The CS disclosed that his ministry would advise the Government on the need to improve the quality of education depending on the number of students and the cost of equipment needed to train them.
“If Kenya could create a law like the Unclaimed Assets law in Florida State (in the US), we could generate money from unclaimed assets and use it to fund university education,” Kaimenyi advised.
The differentiated cost unit is contained in the Universities Act of 2012.
Kaimenyi appealed to the State to increase the budgetary allocation for special needs education.