The University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi has addressed varsity staff members on the current state of university finances and the 2017/2018 budgetary allocations. He was speaking in Millennium Hall 1 Chiromo Campus today, November 17, 2017.
Speaking to staff members from the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, CAVS and the College of Biological and Physical, CBPS, Prof. Mbithi noted that the University faces some financial constrains following the projected 1.7 Billion budget reduction and the effects of the Lecturers strike taking a toll on the University finances since students can’t pay fees.
Prof. Mbithi appealed to the dons to return back to class even as the negotiations with the Unions are underway. The Vice-Chancellor revealed that the decision by the government to reduce the annual funding from Sh6.2 billion in the current financial budget to Sh4.5 starting July 2017 will put the University in financial distress. He said that such a financial shortfall was too sudden for any organization to bear.
The Vice-Chancellor however commended the introduction of differenced unit costs (DUC) set to be implemented in July in which funding of public universities will now be based on the cost of running academic programs instead of the number of students enrolled. He said that the DUC was actually a brainchild of the University of Nairobi.
Implementation of the DUC means that universities offering courses such as medicine, dentistry, engineering, architecture and law will receive more cash for tuition compared with those largely offering arts and humanities. The DUC funding formula is determined by the actual costs of running a program and ensures universities get realistic financial allocations to fund respective academic programs.
“The University of Nairobi has an agenda for expansion and hence the budgets should be increased, not reduced,” said Prof. Stephen Kiama , Principal, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, who was present.
It was agreed that going forward, the university management will continue to engage the stakeholders; i.e staff members, development partners, leaders, members of parliament, governors and students. Long term solutions to university funding will also be looked into to avoid dependence on government capitation.
Present during the consultative meeting were members of the University Management Board, College Academic Boards, Deans and Directors and staff members.