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Revealed! The Top 5 broke Universities in Kenya

Universities blame a ban on increasing fees as the cause; critics on the other hand cite massive mismanagement of public resources.


This has painted a dire state of the situation in the higher institutions of learning even as the lecturers down their tools pushing for better terms of service.

University of Nairobi

Despite its being the mother of all public universities, the top ranking institution has not been spared in the biting cash crunch.


A recent report submitted to parliament by the auditor General’s office revealed huge arrears owed to the tax man Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) which the University of Nairobi is grappling with.

The University, at the time of audit, was unable to remit Sh673.6 million in statutory deductions from staff salaries.

Earlier, the report from the Auditor’s office was sanctioned by the National Assembly resulting from a public petition to parliament alleging the university was experiencing serious financial hick-ups and that was operating at a deficit of Sh2.6 billion, the highest ever.

John Orindi, the UoN’s corporate affairs director, in a statement, however, has rubbished this, and says “but, like other public institutions, was experiencing cash flow challenges emanating from delayed exchequer issues.”

Technical University of Kenya (TUK)


The auditor’s report has also pushed a trudge on the former Kenya Polytechnic, saying that the university has its current liabilities standing Sh863.2 million, compared to its current assets of Sh385.1 million.

This has an implication that, in a year, should the creditor’s recall their liabilities, the university will go on its financial knees.

The report, which has equally questioned payments made for incomplete works, says TUK has been unable to remit pension deductions among other statutory obligations. This has run to a tune of Sh396.7 million and Sh102.6 million respectively.

On the other hand, the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) last year said it was preparing to dissolve TUK’s Sh900 million pension scheme, a move that would leave more than 1,500 employees without social protection.

Machakos University


For this Machakos County based only public university, the report shows that the university has overdrawn its accounts to the tune of Sh131.5 million.

At the same time, the report shows, it has reduced its general reserves from a surplus of Sh21.7 million in the year under review back to June 2014 to a deficit of Sh153.2 million a year later.

Pwani University

For the Malindi based university, the report questioned variances in accounts of money owed by the government even as it highlighted that the institution was Sh96.8 million in the red.

The University has not yet responded to the report.


University of Eldoret

In this management scandal rocked Eldoret based institution, the report has indicated that the institution closed the financial year to June 2015 with trade and other payables of Sh754.3 million (compared to Sh556.2 million the previous year).

The report has indicated that the management had failed to provide supporting documents for audit verification, Mr. Ouko said.

Minimal funds

In defense, however, most public universities have cited insufficient government funding to be the cause of the deficits. They have equally faulted the ban on fee increment as some of the reasons behind their diminishing financial health.


Public universities currently receive an average of Sh130, 000 per student from the government. However, the universities need over twice as much to meet their growing liabilities.

It is argued that improper use of public funds could be ailing the higher learning institutions. This comes in the wake of the ongoing lecturers strike who have mounted pressure to the government to  consider the plies of dons. Learning has since been paralysed.


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