The government has launched the New Higher Education Funding (NHEF) model, encompassing scholarships and loans for students placed by KUCCPS.
The inception of the NHEF model follows a directive issued by President William Ruto on May 3, 2023.
The new approach will take effect from the admission of the 2022 KCSE candidates into universities and colleges for the 2023-24 financial year.
The model aims at revamping the higher education student funding system, aligning placement, government scholarships, and loans with the specific needs of students and their program costs.
This innovative funding framework has a primary objective of providing equal opportunities for university education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to students from economically disadvantaged households.
Under the NHEF, funding will be determined based on four criteria: the chosen program, household income band, affirmative performance, and government priority areas.
To scientifically assess students’ needs, a Means Testing Instrument (MTI) has been developed, comprising eight variables, such as parents’ background, gender, course type, marginalization, disability, family size, and composition.
By using these variables, the State can accurately assess the needs of different households and allocate funding accordingly.
Students from financially stable backgrounds will receive more loans than scholarships, while those with limited financial means will receive more scholarships than loans.
The NHEF classifies students into four groups based on their levels of need: vulnerable, extremely needy, needy, and less needy. Students falling under the vulnerable and extremely needy categories will receive full government funding through scholarships and loans.
For those in the needy and less needy categories, they will get 93 percent government funding, with the remaining 7 percent being the student’s responsibility for tuition costs.
Needy university students will receive government scholarships covering up to 53 percent of their tuition and loans of up to 40 percent, leaving only 7 percent to be paid by their kins.
Similarly, students enrolling in TVETs will receive government scholarships covering up to 50 percent and loans of up to 30 percent, with their households contributing 20 percent of the total costs.
To access the funding, students in need must apply formally through the Higher Education Financing portal (www.hef.co.ke )upon being placed by KUCCPS.
Continuing students will not be affected by this new funding model as they will continue to receive financial support based on the existing government model.
In order to facilitate the implementation of this novel framework, the government increased funding for university education in the 2023-24 financial year.
The allocation for university education was raised from Sh84.6 billion to Sh54 billion, resulting in an increase in funding per student from Sh152,000 to Sh208,000.
Additionally, the budgetary allocation for TVETs in the same financial year has been elevated from Sh5.2 billion to Sh10 billion, translating to Sh67,000 per year for each student.