MPs probe 32 private varsities over Sh883m funding to students

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 01:06 | By

Lawmakers have commenced investigations into how 32 private universities received Sh883 million as funding to students despite discrepancies in the enrolment of learners.

Members of thePublic Investments Committee (PIC) on Education and Governance questioned how the said universities could get such funding yet some of the students had deferred their studies, others had not been placed by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), others had no records of disbursements while the rest had placement without declared capacities.

Committee chairperson and Bumula MP Wanami Wamboka (pictured) said they have commenced investigations into the matter following the special audit.

Committee directed Auditor General Nancy Gathungu to carry out the special audit following concerns of authenticity and efficiency of public investments particularly the use of public funds in universities across the country.

Policy programme was introduced in 2016 as part of the government’s strategy to ensure students who score the university minimum entry grade of C plus are absorbed and funded by the State.

Following the move, he said the committee will next week Wednesday meet top education officials to deliberate on the matter.

“We will next week meet the Education CS, Principal Secretary, KUCCPS, Education Fund and the universities so that we can get to the bottom of this matter,” he said.

Move came on the day Gathungu, in a special audit report tabled before the Committee, recommended that the universities refund Sh219 million spent on students funded by the government but not placed by KUCCPS. The Sh219 includes Sh201.6 million sent to 15 private universities and another Sh17.8 million received by 14 universities.

“Universities involved should refund Sh17,774,388 spent on students whose names were duplicated in the payment schedules. Further, the Universities Fund should ensure no students receive double allocations in future,” the report.

The report notes that a total of Sh 15.6billion was budgeted for disbursement to the private universities for the seven-year period.

Report, however. regrets that the cash was not transferred to Universities Fund for onward transmission but instead managed by State Department for Higher Education and Research, contrary to Section 53(3) of universities Act.

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