Kenyatta, Maseno, and Moi universities have surpassed the University of Nairobi in terms of tuition fees for medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy, which are considered the most expensive courses available.
An examination of fee structures for these highly sought-after courses in Kenya reveals that medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy consistently remain the most costly programs.
Graduates of these courses, specifically medical doctors, rank among the highest-paid professionals in the country.
According to data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), the annual cost of pursuing a degree in medicine at Kenyatta University (KU), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Maseno University (MSU), and Moi University (MU) is Sh612,000.
In contrast, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MUST) offers the same course at Sh306,000, making it the most affordable option among public universities.
The next most affordable choices include Kisii University (KSU) at Sh461,210 and the University of Nairobi (UoN) at Sh539,750.
Regarding dentistry surgery degrees, the data shows that only two universities offer this program. The University of Nairobi charges Sh521,000 annually, while Moi University sets the cost at Sh612,000 per year.
Students who opt to study medicine in private universities will have to pay Sh510,000 per year at Mount Kenya University (MKU) and Sh592,500 at Uzima University.
Surgeons and medical doctors in Kenya earn an average monthly salary of Sh500,000, with those in private practice receiving higher remuneration.
For those interested in pursuing a degree in pharmacy, the KUCCPS portal indicates that Maseno University and Kenyatta University charge Sh428,400, Kisii University charges Sh418,770, and the University of Nairobi charges Sh413,950 per year.
Prior to the new funding model, the government, through the Universities Fund (UF), provided block funding to institutions based on the number of enrolled undergraduate students and the courses they selected.
Under the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) model, financing for a degree in clinical medicine and clinical dentistry would cost Sh720,000 annually, while veterinary medicine would cost Sh564,000.
Apart from doctors, other high-earning professionals in the country include judges, pilots, lawyers, architects, engineers, and accountants. This highlights the universities’ emphasis on offering courses in these fields due to high demand.
For students interested in studying Law, Mount Kenya University offers the most affordable price at Sh170,000 per year, compared to some public universities such as Moi (Sh183,600), Maseno (Sh183,600), Egerton (Sh214,700), the University of Nairobi (Sh221,850), and Kenyatta University (Sh183,600).
Daystar University Tops the List with Highest Law Program Fees at Sh335,000 Annually, Africa Nazarene University and Kabarak University Follow Suit.
For the first time, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) has published the courses and costs offered by public and private universities, as well as vocational colleges, to provide students with freedom of choice.
With the newly unveiled funding model, survival for institutions now depends on their ability to attract students based on the quality of their programs and associated costs.
According to KUCCPS Chief Executive Mercy Wahome, “Since funding is now student-centered, universities are compelled to focus on the quality they offer in order to attract students.”
Data from the Ministry of Education reveals that in 2022, 173,345 candidates who took the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination scored C+ and above, compared to 145,776 in the previous year.
At the University of Nairobi, an engineering course costs Sh374,850, while JKUAT, Kenyatta University, and the University of Eldoret charge Sh336,600.
The Technical University of Kenya offers the same course at Sh300,000 per year, and the Technical University of Mombasa sets the cost at Sh302,940.
Under the DUC model, state capitation for engineering is Sh396,000 per year per student.
The cheapest public universities offering a degree in journalism are Kisii University, Maasai Mara University, and MUST, all charging Sh153,000. The University of Nairobi charges Sh240,550, Egerton charges Sh233,440, JKUAT and Kenyatta University both charge Sh204,000.
Private universities offer more affordable rates for journalism courses, with MKU charging Sh105,000, Zetech University charging Sh142,600, and KCA University charging Sh133,790.
Under the new funding model, funding will be based on the needs of students, categorized into four groups: vulnerable, extremely needy, needy, and less needy. Scholarships, loans, and household contributions will be combined on a graduated scale determined scientifically.
“We have shifted the burden of additional loans to those who can afford to pay, and they have the option to accept or decline the loans,” said UF Chief Executive Geoffrey Monari.