Universities and colleges in the country will be forced to submit progress reports on all students sponsored by the government if a new bill is passed.

This is after the cabinet ratified proposals allowing the government to track and monitor all students placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).

The University Amendment Bill 2020 seeks to initiate major changes in the composition of KUCCPS and the University Fund (UF) and ensure efficient collaboration between the two.

Following the ratification of the bill, UF will be the major player in determining university students' funding.

File image of university students during a graduation ceremony in Kenya. |Photo| Courtesy|

The bill will also compel learning institutions to provide academic updates on students to the government and their status on funding.

"Every university shall submit a report to the Board by April 30 each year on the status of the academic progress of beneficiaries of the funds apportioned to the universities by the Board," the bill reads in part.

This move will help the government tame universities and colleges that have over the years submitted conflicting data on student enrollment.

This comes at the back of a report by UF indicating that about 32,000 students had delayed completing their courses.

UF stated in the report, that some students may be repeating their courses, others had simply found a loophole to stay in the schools longer while others differed courses for varied reasons.

It also argued that the bill would help verify data submitted by universities as no such mechanism exists at the moment.

If ratified, the bill may compel the universities to provide the government with data on which students passed their exams and are progressing to the next class, and which students are not.

Universities would also be required to submit final year graduation lists to the government to show which funded students graduated and who did not.

The law is expected to ride on the back of a proposal by vice-chancellors that the government issue funds based on the physical presence of students rather than the arbitrary allocation of funds.

In their report, Status of University Education in Kenya released late 2020, the VCs argued that funding each student individually would facilitate accountability and eliminate some programmes offered in the schools.

Upon placement, by KUCCPS each university will be required to submit the full list of both government and privately sponsored students to the board.

"The placement board shall submit the information received to the University Fund Board within fourteen days of receipt thereof," the bill adds.