New Degree Cost Under Ruto’s New Funding Formula

By | May 5, 2023

How many degrees Will Cost Under Ruto’s New Funding Formula?

President William Ruto has introduced a new funding formula for universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions in Kenya, which is set to increase the burden on households.

Despite previous assurances that fees would not be raised, calculations based on the cost of university programmes suggest that families will have to pay more. The President unveiled four categories under which students will be funded: vulnerable, extremely needy, needy and less needy.

The government will fully fund vulnerable and extremely needy students, but those in the needy and less needy categories are likely to have to take out larger loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) than they would have previously, as they will receive less in government scholarship.

Previously, all government-sponsored students were entitled to automatic funding of 80% of the unit cost, regardless of their family background. However, this has now been removed and funding will be based on the family’s economic status.

Students admitted to more expensive courses will pay more from the family kitty than those in less expensive programmes. For instance, a bachelor’s degree in dentistry will cost Sh720,000, while a bachelor of arts degree will cost Sh144,000.

The new funding formula has been criticised by some parents, who believe that the burden on households will be higher than before.

Charles Ringera, the CEO of the Higher Education Loans Board, has stated that a means-testing instrument will be used to determine the economic status of students and that household earnings will be verified by local leaders and by the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Registrar of Persons.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has said that the government will fund all qualified students in public universities, but those attending private universities will not be eligible for government scholarships. They can, however, apply for Helb loans.

ClusterSubject areaBachelor’s degree cost per year (Sh)NeedyLess needy
laMedicine Pre-clinical360,000190,800144,000
lbMedicine Clinical720,000381,600288,000
llaDentistry Pre-clinical360,000190,800144,000
llbDentistry Clinical720,000381,600288,000
IllaVeterinary medicine Pre-clinical324,000171,720129,600
IIIbVeterinary medicine Clinical564,000298,920225,600
IVaPharmacy Pre-clinical324,000171,720129,600
IVbPharmacy Clinical504,000267,120201,600
VaArchitectural Studies Part360,000190,800144,000
VbArchitectural Studies Professional (Part 2)432,000228,960172,800
VIEngineering, Surveying396,000209,880158,400
VIIThe Built Environment and Design360,000190,800144,000
Real Estate
Urban And Regional Planning
Landscape Architecture
Design Computing
VIIIAgriculture, Health Sciences, Food Sciences, Natural324,000171,720129,600
Resource Management and the Natural Environment
Food Science & Technology
Medical Laboratory Science & Technology
Animal Science
Clinical Medicine
Agribusiness Management
Sport Science
Foods and Nutrition
Medical Psychology
Physical Therapy
Public Health
Environmental Health
Community Health & Development
Wildlife Science & Management
IXApplied Sciences & Education (Science & Technology)288,000152,640115,200

Overall, while the new funding formula aims to ensure that students from disadvantaged backgrounds receive more funding for their studies, it appears that households will bear a greater burden.

The means-testing instrument should ensure that funding is distributed fairly, but some parents may still be concerned about the level of support they will receive