University education will receive Sh113 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year for research, quality assurance and standards, as well as science, technology and innovation.
The allocation marks a Sh13.6 billion increase from the current financial year that ends on June 30.
Of the amount, Sh8.7 billion will be used for development, a drop from Sh13.1 billion allocation last year.
Most public universities are struggling to fund their operations, with reduced student numbers following the collapse of the parallel programmes.
Private universities are not faring any better, since their public rivals now admit all the candidates who qualify for university admission.
In April, the the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) announced that it had placed 89,486 government-sponsored students in public and private universities.
TECH AND INNOVATION
Meanwhile, Sh379 million has been set aside for quality assurance and standards. It is from here that the Commission for University Education draws fund to ensure that Kenyan university education standards are competitive globally.
But perhaps the most notable allocation is the Sh2.4 billion for research, science, technology and innovation that raises eyebrows. This may be considered little, taking into account that both Kenya Vision 2030 and President Uhuru Kenyatta's Big 4 Agenda tend to lean heavily on science, technology and innovation.
There are 250,000 government-sponsored students in public universities with plans to sponsor another 15,000.
Kenya has 70 universities, 30 of them public, five public constituent colleges, 18 private universities, and five private constituent colleges. Twelve have letters of interim authority.
The Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) through which the government awards loans to students is funded from this kitty.
Expected transfers to government agencies in the university sector will take up the biggest chunk at Sh91.2 billion. Helb targets to award education loans to 288,723 students in the coming financial year that starts in July.