The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has been given a jolt in the right direction as a result of Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu’s decision to increase its funding .
On Tuesday, November 8th, Machogu addressed the press and revealed that the state has allocated Ksh15.8 billion for the institution.
The board’s previous budget was Ksh15.2 billion, therefore this is an increase from the 2021/2022 fiscal year.
Machogu further pledged that the two kitties would be exempt from the government-wide austerity measures and revealed that Ksh50 billion had been set aside to subsidize activities at public universities.
The Government has allocated a capitation of Ksh50 billion for university education and another Ksh15 billion to the Higher Education Loans Board. I want to assure our Universities that nobody is interfering with that money – even the cost-cutting measures with other sectors of the economy.
In reassuring institutions, he said, “The government will continue funding our universities, but we are also asking that if there are other ways we can generate money for our universities, why not?”
These views were a shift from his previous ones, in which he was reported to have advocated for the government to end its support of institutions.
He argued that universities and colleges should focus on developing alternative revenue streams, such as research.
The CS, however, denied responsibility for the comments in his most recent press conference.
“I want to make a clarification, nobody ever said that University funds are going to be done away with. It is better we get an entire story, what we said is that the government is supporting universities through capitation and infrastructural funds. That is clearly manifested in the Kenya Kwanza Manifesto,” he added.
In recent years, HELB has had trouble paying out to its beneficiaries, citing problems with return rates and delays in receiving funds from the government.
The board postponed payments to 75,000 recipients in February 2022 because the treasury had been late in allocating Ksh3 billion to them