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Varsity students issue ultimatum on fees

University student leaders have given the government a 14-day ultimatum to reduce the fees in public universities by half.

The student leaders threatened to oust Education cabinet secretary Prof Kamineyi from office should he not meet the ultimatum.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the student leaders faulted the proposal by the Commission for University Education (CUE) to increase fees in public universities from September.

Prof Kaimenyi has supported the commission’s proposal, describing the current university fees as “too low”.

Students under the regular programme pay about Sh15,000 per semester. The government wants to increase this amount to Sh26,000.

The student leaders, under the Kenya University Student Organisation (KUSO), said the proposal will lock out students from poor backgrounds from acquiring higher education.

“University students asked for reduction of fees, but Prof Kaimenyi has decided to increase the fees even higher in order to lock out students from poor families from accessing higher education,” said KUSO Babu Owino.

“We demand that Prof Kaimenyi immediately sets up a task force comprising of student leaders and other stakeholders in the education sector to continue with our earlier proposal to reduce the university fees by 50 per cent,” added Babu Owino.

They threatened to paralyse education in all universities should the government proceed with the proposed increment.

“Should they stop us from demonstrating peacefully, we will bring in another way of demonstrating which will not please them,” said Mr Charles Juma, secretary general of KUSO.