Many students who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2023 are on the verge of missing out on university.

This follows President William Ruto’s decision to significantly reduce Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funds for tuition and upkeep of students.

The worst hit by this directive is private universities as they grapple with a low enrolment of students, hindering their operations.

In the Financial Year 2024/25, the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) stated that the proposed estimate is Ksh28.1 billion.

As noted, this amount can only fund the education of continuing students (Year Two to Year Six), leaving behind the 2023 KCSE students who are supposed to join university this September.

In FY 2023/24, HELB was allocated Ksh31.89 billion for tuition and upkeep loans.

Additionally, the amount is extremely low to cater to the needs of the 122,634 students who sat for the KCSE last year.

Nonetheless, the National Treasury allocated Ksh22 billion for scholarships for university students under the new funding model, which is in its second year of implementation.

The funding, which was introduced by President Ruto in May 2023, prioritizes a student’s financial needs.

Ruto rolled out the model in an effort to get institutions of higher learning out of hot water with huge debts and being constantly cash-strapped.

As per the model, students from vulnerable to extremely needy households will receive 100% funding.

The needy and less needy get 93% of government funding, with their guardians required to settle the remaining 7%.

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