What the UoN Fee Increment Means for Both Students and the University

By Lynnet Okumu / Published July 15, 2021 | 1:32 pm




KEY POINTS

“It is unfair to just wake up one morning and decide your increasing fees…we will not allow that to happen.”


University of Nairobi

Parents and students who wish to study at the University of Nairobi were shocked after the institution increased tuition fees for some of its courses early this week. The institution noted that the decision was aimed at meet a cash deficit after a shortfall in student enrollment.

Speaking on Citizen TV, the Vice-Chancellor of Nairobi University, Prof. Stephen Gitahi Kiama defended their decision stating that the institution had to apply the differentiated unit cost which was already approved in the University Act 2012

The Vice-Chancellor added that the fee increment will not affect those students who are on session now but will apply to the ones who are yet to join the institution. Does it mean that the students who are yet to join will now be able to afford the tuition fee increment? I don’t think there’s any difference because the parents of these students are still the same ones that have been paying the fees.

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Anyway, Prof. Kiama also stated clearly that those who will be joining have a choice and in case you chose to join UoN then you must pay the fees as will be stated in the fee structure.

Barely a few hours after the reports emerged that the University of Nairobi has doubled the school fees for students in the institution, the students and some lecturers bitterly said they did not agree with the decision because they were not included before the decision was made.

“It is unfair to just wake up one morning and decide your increasing fees…we will not allow that to happen,” Jamlek one of the students said angrily during their protest to chant their grievances to the Vice-Chancellor.

The move to increase the institution fee has attracted a sharp reaction from the public including the former students led by the vocal Embakasi East Member of Parliament, Babu Owino who has since vowed to fight with the institution to a bitter end.

Hon. Babu Owino stated on his Facebook page that the fee increment must be fought ruthlessly and he’s not going to be left behind in the fight.

The students who had given the institution 48 hours to review the fee increment inclusively failed to which they were to go on a strike to fight for their rights, yesterday engaged the police on a run at the university way and Uhuru Highway, after the institution failed to give an ear to their pleas.

The police who were deployed in the area to calm the unrest ended up arresting four of the students and verified reports have that some of the student council members were expelled from the school.

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These students are only doing what they believe is right because whatever the institution is undergoing right now, they cannot be part of it. They had nothing to do with it and cannot end up becoming victims. In any case, this will only make it more difficult for the less privileged students whose parents are struggling to pay their school fees especially since the onset of the covid 19 pandemics in the country.

The KMPDU leadership led by the Secretary-General also joined the students in a peaceful demonstration against the proposed fee increment which to a larger extent will affect the medical profession in the institution.

The institution’s VC went ahead praise UoN as the leading institution in the country with quality graduates. As much as this might be true, is it not so ironic how the supposed to be role model to other institutions is now making ruthless decisions?

Many students admire the University of Nairobi and have the dream of joining the institution for experience and knowledge. This includes poor students who hope to achieve their life goals by joining a reputable university.

Well, what happens now to the already placed students who were not prepared for this drastic change of events or those who will never be able to raise the required fees?

It’s of course simple, many will have to change to other public universities which could be tedious to some because the process is very long.  Some students will be forced to defer to enable them to make the right decision on what to do, this might apply to the Masters and Ph.D. students and even to those who are yet to join.

The fact the VC feels like the students have a choice and will negotiate with the institution is not just right because many students will now have to switch to courses that are not their choices since they might not be offered in other institutions.

And come to think of it, UoN has also scraped away some courses claiming that they do not have value cost. Okay, this is understandable but is it not the same institution that came up with the same courses in the first place? When there were claims that Universities nowadays offer courses that are not marketable and beneficial to the students or worthy of the fees the students pay, there were complaints that this was propaganda.

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Now it’s clear from our role model University, and mark you the case happens in almost all the universities. Not just the unbeneficial courses but also the ever-increasing fee.

The fate of Nairobi university now depends on their decision to either review the fee increment or leave it at the double amount. With students likely to flee to other institutions, UoN is also likely to start recording a small number of students joining the institution these coming years.

The fact at hand however is whether the institution considers the state of the students before coming to a decision such as a 100 percent fee increment. This is just too much for a regular student with a struggling parent or a student hustling to pay their school fees.







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