kiamba aau pp dr

An Innovative Model of Funding Higher
Education in Kenya
The Universities Fund
Crispus Kiamba
School of the Built Environment,
College of Architecture and Engineering,
University of Nairobi,
Table of Contents
• Introduction
• Higher education buffer bodies
• The new higher education reforms in Kenya
– The national vision
– The status and growth of university education
• Brief history of the models of funding of higher education in Kenya
– The Background of the new proposed model of funding higher education
– Earlier attempts at establishing University Grants Committee
– The experience of a competitive Research and Innovation Fund
• The Proposed Universities Fund
The 2012 Taskforce Report recommendation to establish a Universities Fund
The Universties Act, 2012 establishes the Universities Fund
The proposed “Universities Fund” and the University Funding Board
Leadership and management of the Universities Fund/Funding Board
• Challenges, Opportunities and Impacts of the Universities Fund/Funding
• Innovative resource mobilization for higher education has been
recognized as critical to both:
– university education and
– high quality national human resource development in the country,
– Hence sine qua non to the successful achievement of Kenya’s Vision
• This study is about the “Universities Fund”
– to be managed by a buffer body, “The Universities Funding Board”,
– proposed under the Universities Act, 2012
– one of the key pillars of the higher education reforms in the country
• Reforms in the funding of university education underpinned by the
recognition that financing for higher education in Kenya has been:
inadequate and
lacked effective coordination mechanism, especially in the face of
competing demands for the limited national budget
Rationale for the Creation of Buffer
• Created by governments to perform some of its
– Relatively autonomous
– Protection of the academic freedom of universities
• Reduction of the possibility of government undue
interference which might compromise academic freedom.
– Enables decisions on development of the university
system outside the normal political circle
– Enables informed and expert decisions
• Performance of their functions buttressed by
their formal and firm legal status
Higher Education Reforms in Kenya
• The National Vision: The Context of Reforms in Higher
– The Kenya Vision 2030 which aimed at transforming Kenya into a
“newly industrializing, middle income, globally competitive and
prosperous country providing a high quality of life to all its
citizens in a secure and clean environment”.
• The new Constitution of Kenya, 2010 provided the
overarching environment of reforms of all sectors in Kenya,
including higher education.
– freedom of expression (includes academic freedom and
freedom of scientific research);
– right to education for everyone as one of the socio-economic
– right of access to educational institutions and facilities for
persons with disability; and
– right of opportunities for the minority and marginalised groups.
• Hence new vision for higher education
– The Universities Act, 2012 and other related
legislation, including:
• Technical and Vocational Education and Training Act
• Science, Technology and Innovation Act
– The strategy to “invest in the people of Kenya”
• providing a globally competitive and quality education,
training, and research to support that development.
• intensified application of science, technology and
innovation in order to raise the productivity and
efficiency levels across the economy
The Status and Growth of University
• Categories of public and private universities
Chartered Universities.
Universities with Letter of Interim Authority (LIA).
Registered Private Universities
Foreign universities.
• Kenya has witnessed exponential growth of university education
– From one university (The University of Nairobi) in 1970 to:
• 22 fully chartered public universities (15 of which were established in
• 9 public university colleges,
• 17 private universities,
• 5 private university colleges,
• 11 Universities with LIAs and 2 Registered Universities
• Enrolment of university students (public and private) increased
from less than 2,000 in 1970 to over 250,000 in 2012
Brief History of the Models of Funding
of Higher Education in Kenya
a) The unsuccessful attempt at establishing the University
Grants Committee in early 1980s under the Commission
for Higher Education (now Commission for University
– Established largely along the same lines as the British University
Grants Committee.
– Functions of CHE largely accreditation and quality assurance of
university education, but also given the function of coordination
of university budgets, especially:
• “to plan and provide for the financial needs of university education
and research, including the recurrent and non-recurrent needs of
universities” and
• “to determine and recommend to the Minister the allocation of grants
of money for appropriation by Parliament to meet the needs of
university education and research and review expenditure by
universities of moneys appropriated by Parliament”.
b) The Experience of a Competitive Research and Innovation
Set up in 2008 under the then National Council for Science and Technology (now
Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation)
– to support advancement of scientific research, inventions and innovations and build capacity
in STI sector for national development
The Fund targets funding in priority areas in relation to the development agenda
of the country as provided in Vision 2030, with the following funding categories:– Thematic research: food security, climate change, renewable energy, engineering, health
water and sanitation.
– Innovations,
– Women scientists research projects,
– Postgraduate research (PhD & MSc),
– Bilateral international research collaborations (Kenya/South Africa; Kenya/DAAD/Germany;
– Research infrastructure/facilities,
– Scientific conferences and symposia.
Since inception, a total of 333 PhD and 294 MSc/MA research projects across all
The Proposed Universities Fund
• Against the background of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the
new Constitution of Kenya, 2010, the Minister for
Higher Education, Science and Technology established
in 2012 a Taskforce on the Alignment of the Higher
Education, Science and Technology (TAHEST) Sector
with the Constitution of Kenya.
• ,The Task force generated the Report of the Taskforce
on the Alignment of the Higher Education, Science and
Technology (TAHEST) Sector with the Constitution of
Kenya (“the TAHEST Report”).
TAHEST Report Recommendation
• One of the key recommendations of the TAHEST Report
was establishment of the “Universities Fund”.
• In doing this, Report said, inter alia, that the
government would:
“Establish an institutional Government funding mechanism,
which would be a lever for achieving university education
policy objectives and alignment to the Constitution of Kenya
2010. The funding mechanism would be used along with
appropriate regulatory frameworks for achieving high quality
university education and research”.
TAHEST recommends strategies to
implement the new “funding mechanism”
• Development of a comprehensive University Education
Funding policy.
• Establishment of the University Funding Board (UFB) to
manage the Universities Fund and therefore to:– to develop the detailed institutional funding criteria.
– disburse all government funding to universities.
– monitor the utilization and impact of the funds by the
– Undertake fund-raising for university education.
– develop incentives for private sector participation in the
funding of university education.
– develop public private partnership frameworks for
university education.
– negotiate tax waivers to foster individual and
corporate/institutional support to university
education, etc.
– Develop in consultation with County Governments
a transparent and equitable institutional funding
criterion that would be aligned with Constitution
of Kenya 2010 and other national socio-economic
development goals.
In consultation with stakeholders, the
University Funding Board would:
• Develop a revised Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) for all
degree programmes offered by Kenyan Universities.
• Adopt DUC as basis for institutional financing public
• Develop and implement automated university financial
information systems with interfaces to the National
Government Integrated Financial Information System.
• Develop the capacity of Chief Financial officers and
senior leadership of universities on efficient and
effective financial management practices
The Universities Act, 2012 Establishes
the Universities Fund and Universities
Funding Board
• The function of the Board/Trustees is to generally manage
the University Fund and more particularly to:
– Advise the government, in matters of university education
funding and related policy issues;
– develop a transparent and fair criteria for allocation of funds to
– Apportion funds to universities in accordance with criteria
– Establish the maximum differentiated unit cost for the academic
programmes offered;
– Establish the minimum discipline differentiated remuneration
for academic staff of universities, which shall be fair and globally
Sources of monies for the Fund
• The Government/Parliament;
• Donations
• Income generated by investments made by
the Trustees; and
• Endowments, grants and gifts from whatever
source to the Fund.
Leadership and management of the Fund
• The Universities Fund Board to be comprised of
Trustees who would manage the fund so established.
• The Board of Trustees to consist of nine members
appointed by the Cabinet Secretary for education as
– A chairperson who has knowledge and experience in
matters related to finance, investment and fundraising;
– The Principal Secretary in the Ministry responsible for
– The Principal Secretary in the Ministry for University
– Six persons who have proven knowledge and experience in
financial matters of which at least two and not more than
three will be of the same gender
An open and competitive appointment process
• A Selection Panel appointed by the Cabinet
Secretary to manage the process.
• Positions publicly advertised
• Names of applicants and shortlisted candidates
placed for public scrutiny in at least two daily
newspapers with national circulation.
• The Cabinet Secretary from a list submitted by a
the Selection Panel following a competitive and
transparent recruitment process appoints the
chairperson and the members of the Board.
Nomination criteria for the members
of the Board
• To have regard to the objectives of the
development of university education,
• To ensure balanced competences,
• Gender equity, and
• Inclusion of persons with disabilities, the
marginalized and other minority groups.
Competence and effective
• In order to ensure competent and effective participation in
and contributing to the affairs of university education, the
2012 law put minimum educational and experience
requirements of the members if the Board of Trustees.
– The Chairperson to hold a doctorate degree and have ten years’
experience in leadership and management of public or private
– Member to have at least a masters degree, and at least five
years’ experience in leadership, management or academia.
• Further, a member shall be a person of high moral
character and integrity in accordance with Chapter Six of
the Constitution of Kenya.
• Chief executive appointed by the Cabinet Secretary on the
recommendation of the Board of Trustees following a
competitive recruitment process.
Challenges, Opportunities and Impacts
of the Universities Fund
• The key challenges in financing public universities
Inadequate budgetary support;
Inadequate funds for capital development;
Lack a strategic student fee payment policy
Lack of programme differentiated unit cost in
provision of funds from Government;
– Inadequate internal income generation by the
universities; and
– System inefficiencies, including transparency and
• These challenges will become increasingly
more complex given the exponential growth
and the attendant questions of quality and
relevance of university education in Kenya.
• There are clear indications that quality has suffered in
university education in Kenya due to exponential
growth in enrolment without matching physical and
human resources.
• There an urgent need of an equivalent of a national
“marshal” or master plan to counter act this in ensuring
not only adequate and quality university staffing level
but also requisite modern technology support.
• Its these challenges that the proposed
Universities Fund will address.
• Transparency and fairness of funding of
– expected to respond to the long-standing criticism to
the current approach of funding of public universities,
which has been seen as lacking transparency and
fairness in the way funds are allocated or distributed
to public universities
• Public support/funding offered to private
universities since they play an important role in
the university system and national development
in the country.
– “conditional grants”, “scholarships,” “bursaries,”
“financial aid. etc.”
• Governance: Competence, transparency and
– The criteria of the appointment of the members
Universities Fund Board (Trustees) is the same criteria
and process of the appointment of members of the
governing bodies of the several buffer agencies that
have been established under the Universities Act.
– Such appointments are largely guided by principles of
integrity, competitiveness, transparency, fairness and
inclusiveness, which are to guide appointments to all
public offices as espoused by the Constitution of
Kenya, 2010.
– A clear break from the past
• Differentiated unit cost as basis for equity in
charging tuition to students
– Rationalization of fees charged
• between type of student (publicly sponsored/ privately
– Review the dual track system
• Between degree programmes
– Adoption of differentiated unit costs
Differentiated remuneration for academic staff
– To deal with the need to have a realistic manner
of remunerating faculty and staff of public
– To establish the minimum discipline differentiated
remuneration for academic staff of universities
• shall be fair and globally competitive
– Regularization of payment structure
– Respond to the problem of staff retention
» especially in most expensive yet competitive academic
disciplines like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy,
architecture and building and engineering and technology
• Performance-based budgeting and
– Start the important work towards performance-based
funding to public universities
• develop the methodology that would be used.
– Budgeting of higher education not purely not purely
accordance to enrolment, but also to specific performance
measures such as:
• course completion,
• credit attainment, and degree completion,
• equity and gender considerations instead of allocating funding
based entirely on enrollment.
– The model provides a fuller picture of how successfully
institutions have used their state appropriations to support
clearly stated objectives or targets.
Performance-based budgeting and
funding (Contd)
– Creation of incentives sufficiently strong to
change institutional behavior.
– Different funding formulas for different types of
• or use the same formula but weight it differently
depending on the type of institution and characteristics
of the student population.
– Frequent monitoring and evaluation to ensure
dedicated pursuit of targets and results.

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