Lecturers want more consultation before the rollout of a programme that will lead to their salaries being based on the courses they teach in July.
Under the new formula, known as Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC), universities will also be allocated funds on the basis of their programmes instead of the number of enrolled students.
University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga warned that the policy will have a negative effect on staff and students.
“Uasu calls upon the government and Parliament to defer its implementation pending public and stakeholder participation,” said Dr Wasonga. “The DUC policy has not been made known to all the stakeholders — including academic staff, students, parents and the public.”
Uasu joins the University of Nairobi in questioning the policy.
“The implementation of differentiated unit cost, leading to negative impact on the university budget, has been carried out without the university’s direct involvement and participation, contrary to what was agreed,” said the university in a memorandum to Parliament’s committee on Education and also that of Budget and Appropriation.
It added: “Further, the data applied in computing the UoN budgetary allocations did not have university’s input”.
Medicine, engineering, architecture, computer science and law lecturers will hence be paid higher salaries than those in the general humanities and the social sciences fields.
In this context, universities with many technical and professional courses will attract higher funding than those mostly teaching humanities.
The government has since allocated Sh80 billion to fund university education starting July, up from Sh32 billion in the current financial year.
“Previously, universities were receiving funding without any formula and now that will stop,” said Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i recently.
The directive is based on recommendations of a task force on university funding that was chaired by the vice-chancellor of the Technical University of Kenya, Prof Francis Aduol.
The team established that it cost Sh600,000 to train a dentist while medicine costs Sh576,000, veterinary medicine Sh468,000, pharmacy Sh432,000 and a general art degree Sh144,000.
The government allocates a uniform figure of Sh120,000 for every student in public university, an allocation that has been in force for more than 20 years.
Applied humanities such as languages and psychology will take up Sh180,000 per year.