Financing access and equity in Kenya Alternative Methods for the Poor Loise Gichuhi (PhD) University of Nairobi firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com IAUStrategies for securing Equity in Access and success in Higher Education 16-18 November 2011 Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya
Background to the presentationRising demand for higher education has beendocumented allover the world (Global Education Digest,2011)The number of students pursuing tertiary education hastremendously increased over the past 40 yearsIn Sub – Saharan Africa ,the growth has been equallynoted, yet the region lags behind other regions in termsof total HE student numbers.The growth of HE system that is noted in Sub- SaharanAfrica has considerable strain and would be difficult tobe maintained unless the economies get new strategies,significant amount of funding, to maintain the numbersand enroll new numbers.
Background cont…Broadening access to higher education has massive costimplications for governments especially in developingcountries and post- conflict countries.Higher education budget has been very high incomparison to other sectors.The per capita expenditure at higher education is veryhigh.Options to reduce expenditure are limited andIt raises the question of sustainability of the expansiontrend in Higher educationHigher education is very expensive and there is athreshold level of expansion that will reduce theper capita expenditure *
Background cont… benefits of educationEducation has both economic and non –economicbenefitsInvesting substantially and efficiently in humancapital brings sustainable developmentBut… The distribution of education matters The financing strategies skewed harms the education achievement Policy environment matters greatly, on education financing , on who should benefit from funds,
Background cont… Kenyan contextTo achieve the education benefits the stakeholders in the humandevelopment sector must be identified and play a proactive role inaccess and equity.The government is a major stakeholder allover the worldIt is always expected that the government has the responsibility tofinance education. This expectation among other factors hastranslated into high budgetary allocations .In Kenya the GER at University level is estimated to be 9.8 % , witha budget allocation of Kshs 193 billion in 2010/2011 up from Kshs11 billion in 2007/2008The allocation to higher education available spaces is based onstudent performance at secondary level
Background cont..Basing allocation on ability is assumed to be the mostefficient method but … The secondary school sector in Kenya is not homogenous, a lot of differences are noted in terms of quality.. Infrastructure, number of staff, teacher/pupil ratio, day schools , entry qualifications, boarding schools, national schools, some regions are perennially doing well than others . Hence access and equity issues are well noticed at secondary levels Ability to perform also depends on the household income due to both direct and hidden costs among other factors like parental education , aspirations etc.What are the implications to this trend in developingcountry context, poor households ?Who should finance Higher education?
Who pays for higher educationRecent education financing policy in Kenya often favor todivert resources from higher education to primary levelof education The policy favors full recovery from students in highereducation.Cost recovery methods have diverstating inequality inmaintaining access and participation especially for themarginalized; poor, minority, rural , undeservedpopulations etcThe government mode of financing has been throughHELB ( inception since 1995), Bursary, and Scholarships
HELBOver 300,000 students have been financed by 2011Targets both government and privately sponsoredstudents within the East African communityThe repayment rate depends on the year of graduation,those who graduated between 1974/75 and 1994/95academic years repay at a rate of 2%, those who took loanfrom 1995/96 academic year to date repay at 4% perannum.The loan amounts to 52,000 plus 8,000 bursary.Due to large numbers , majority of students receive35,000 per year divided into two semesters with 8,000paid directly to the university.
HELB cont..Implications Money is very little to maintain a student “comfortably” Student Living conditions are very poor access , participation and quality is affected… students hardly buys essential materials not available in the libraries. Default cases are many largely due to unemployment hence the government keeps on pumping more money……… overstretching the government efforts
BursariesTargeted bursaries CDF LATIFThese have played a significant role but challengeshave been noted especially politics, MPs are thepatrons.Too little which is not consistent throughout thecollege life
Focus of the studyAlternative methods to finance education (Private expenditure on education)
Localization of dataMy discussion is based on a rural set up , primarilyon two rural districtsThe districts are unique due to the heterogeneousnature of the population in terms of the incomelevels. One, Kieni West district is categorized asASAL- arid and semi arid regions, the other one,Nyeri south h is proximity to the municipality andthe water per capita is sufficiently high incomparison to the Kieni West.
SamplingSystematic sampling was used to get representativehousehold with at least one university studentRadom sampling was used to get 50 and 100students from the two districtsData was collected using interviews for the parentsand questionnaires for the studentsKikuyu language was used predominantly for theparents interview
FindingsThe findings were categorized into two groups Parents based Students based
Parents findingsAll parents expressed the desire for their children to accessuniversity educationThey appreciate the role of the government in the provision ofeducation.They expressed optimism on the role of the government to financeeducation especially because of the twin government project ofFPE and SSE which to them is a sign of well intentioned vision.The parents hopes that the government can expand its role as it hasthe capability of finding alternatives to finance education.Parents were aware on the role of demographic on the financing ofeducation , especially where the household size is high anddistributed in all the education sectors; primary , secondary andtertiary and university.
Parents findings cont…Cited alternative methods: Savings Sell possessions Piece of land Goats/cows Cars/bicycles Firm products- Family members - Older siblings - Others - Friends
Parents findings cont…Loan from big banksLoan from SaccosLoan from friendsWork part timeHarambeeCDF,LATIF
ObservationsA very high willingness to pay but low ability to payParents value education of their children depicted byvarious ways they try to bridge the governmentfinancing fund.The opportunity cost of many of the methods cited isenormous noted that the household are poor andsome of the property they have might be the onlyavailable for the household,With an average household size of 5 children it isdifficult to comprehend what they wouldcontinuously sell for all the children
Observations cont…The willingness to pay should be differentiated fromability to pay.Employment creation can motivate parents to seekfor strategies of financing HEHouseholds should be treated differently evenamong the poor.Some households have other external sources and ifthe receive CDF or LATF it would be double paymentSustainable development is important in all regionsto boost the income levels of the household
Students -FindingsThe students sampled were critical of the governmentways of financing HEHowever, they appreciate HELB funds and they expect itto increase in future to reflect the cost of living.They are sympathetic with the funding situations parentsfind themselves in especially when they are many in ahousehold.They wished the HELB is given as per course cost. Unitcost analysis ,Some courses are more expensive than others.Needy students should identified well and more moneyallocated.
Alternative financing methodsCited methodsImportant to note that the methods cited are only shortterm and they vary from the ones cited by their parents. Residing with parents ( if the college is within reach) Renting residents as a group Minimize on leisure Cooking own food in the halls of residence ( time implications… quality Part time jobs ( even when full time) Full time job , differ studies Petition HELB for more money Short term debts from friends Parents finance Undisclosed sources***********
Methods cont…Small business operations Selling food to students through a proxy Selling, stationary and air time, Mpesa Selling old cloths and shoes Washing clothes, rooms for colleagues Plaiting hair and washing Ironing clothes for collegues Rent out the university rooms and live with parents
ObservationsStudents understands the benefits of education tothem and their parentsThey understand the role played by the governmentin HEThey are critical on the distribution of governmentsfunds and the suggested that transparent andaccountable distribution proceduresBetter methods of identifying the needy casesespecially in underprivileged situations should beidentified
ConclusionA well-designed system of private fees and targeted financialassistance for less advantaged students can contribute toovercoming inequalities in access and distribution of studentswho benefit from Higher educationA discussion on private expenditure/ household expenditureon education would not be balanced without consideringequity issues in both access and success.Shifting the education financial burden to parents might havelong term implications and make education for chosenprivileged few.Both parents and the students have short term alternativemethods that are not sustainableLong term innovative methods are required to supplement thegovernment efforts in financing HE
Thank you for your time QUESTIONS , COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS