University lecturers will be paid on the basis of courses they teach rather than job grades if a proposed law is passed by Parliament.
Public universities will also be funded according to courses they offer unlike at present when they are financed based on the number of students enrolled.
The Bill proposes to create the Universities Fund to finance the institutions of higher learning.
It is this body that will work out the criteria for differentiating lecturers’ pay and students’ funding, either based on the courses taught or learnt.
“In consultation with the universities, it (Universities Fund) will establish the maximum differentiated unit cost for the programmes offered and discipline (courses) differentiated remuneration for academic staff and advise the government accordingly,” says the Bill.
This means lecturers teaching courses like medicine, dentistry, law, actuarial science, architecture and other high-end professional courses will earn more than those handling the liberal arts or other general disciplines.
Also, it means universities offering courses that require a lot of money like medicine, dentistry, engineering, sciences and technology will get more funding compared to those offering humanities.
Currently, universities are funded directly by the government and the students given equal amount of money irrespective of courses they pursue.
The Bill also seeks to establish an independent body to admit students to public universities and middle-level colleges. The body will be known as the Kenya Universities and Colleges Admission Service.
All students admitted to public universities and colleges will be funded by the government, says the Bill. To date, only university students admitted under the regular programmes get State funding.