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DUC for Universities Fund Cluster Programmes as Proposed in the 2023 Education Reforms

Until the 1990s Government was financing the entire University education, including giving students’ stipends. However, following the Kamunge Report of 1988 on Education and Manpower Training for the Next Decade and Beyond, cost-sharing was introduced where the Government was to pay Ksh. 70,000 for every student admitted to University, while the students were to pay Ksh. 16,000 as tuition fees. In addition, students received Ksh. 50,000 from HELB as loans for their upkeep, accommodation and book allowance.

The government grant per student also increased over time to a high of Ksh. 242,000 per student by 2016, with disparities within Universities. The direct tuition fees component paid by students, however, remained the same, although households continued to meet other associated costs. In FY 2017/2018
Government introduced Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) as a model for funding public Universities. DUC is based on a number of parameters, including staff cost, student-staff ratio, student numbers, cost of infrastructure and operations, student load and cost of programs (MDUC Report, 2015). Fourteen clusters were approved by the Universities Fund, with programs being funded at negotiated Maximum Differentiated Unit Cost (MDUC).

Clinical medicine and dentistry have the highest DUC of Ksh. 720,000, while Applied Humanities and Social Sciences have the lowest cost of Ksh. 180,000

Cluster Subject AreaAnnual Cost (Ksh)
1aMedicine – Pre-Clinical 360,000
1bMedicine – Clinical 720,000
IIa Dentistry – Pre-Clinical 360,000
IIb Dentistry – Clinical 720,000
IIIa Veterinary Medicine – Pre-Clinical 324,000
IIIb Veterinary Medicine – Clinical 564,000
IVa Pharmacy-Pre – Clinical 324,000

Pharmacy — Clinical 504,000
VaArchitectural Studies — Architecture Part I 360,000
Vb Architecture — Professional (Part II) 432,000
VI Engineering Surveying 396,000
VIIThe Built Environment and Design — Construction,
Real Estate, Urban and Regional Planning, Landscape
Architecture, Design, Computing.
VIII Agriculture, Health Sciences, Food Sciences, Natural
Resource Management and the Natural Environment-
Agriculture, Food Science and Technology, Medical
Laboratory Science and Technology, Animal Science,
Nursing, Clinical Medicine (BSc.), Radiography, Agribusiness
Management, Sport Science, Foods and Nutrition, Medical
Psychology, Physical therapy, Public Health, Environmental
Health, Community Health and Development, Wildlife
Science and Management, Agribusiness Management.
IX Applied Sciences and Education (Science and Technology)
Education (Science, Tech, and Special Needs), Exercise and
Sport Science, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Biomedical
Sciences, Applied Microbiology and Molecular Biology,
Applied and Technical Physics, Applied and Technical
Chemistry, Applied and Technical Biology, Statistics,
Actuarial Science, Financial Engineering, Environmental
X Basic Sciences Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology,
Geography (B.Sc.).
XI Applied Social Sciences and the Arts (Professional),
Hospitality, Media and Communication Studies, Library
and Information Studies, Business Information Technology,
Sport Science and Management, Fashion Design, Interior
Design, Music (B.Mus.), Civil Aviation Management,
Maritime Management, Agribusiness Management,
Theatre and Film Studies, Fine Art, Food Service and
XII Business, Law, Education (Arts), Economics. 216,000
XIII Applied Humanities and Social Sciences — Geography
(BA), Public Administration, Psychology, Music (BA),
Peace and Security Studies, Disaster Management,
Anthropology, Languages, BA with Education, Language
and Communication, International Relations and
Diplomacy, Social Work and Development Studies.
XIV Basic Humanities, and Social Sciences Economics,
Geography (BA), Basic Humanities and Social Sciences –
History, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology, Literature, Political
Science, Linguistics.
Source: UFB, 2023

The Government was expected to finance 80% of the DUC through capitation, while
the remaining 20% was to be provided by the students and Universities. However, since
inception, the Government has never met the 80%, only providing 66.4% in FY 2018/19,
which declined to 48.1% in FY 2022/23. Consistent underfunding of the DUC over the
five years (Figure 10.2) affected operations in many public Universities and resulted in
the accumulation of pending bills.


Tambua Africa Reporter

Blogger and news writer at Tambua Africa News.

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