Higher Education Financing: Application of Efficiency and Equity in the Kenyan Education Context
Keywords:Efficiency, Equity, Bursary Fund, Scholarships, Student Loans, Kenya, Education Financing
Education is critical for human development and thus requires financing in various forms. There is an upsurge of enrolment in various levels of education globally, as education is regarded as the key to national development. Governments have invested much in education to improve their citizens’ living standards. Kenya also spends a significant amount of its budget on education. However, many students still face financial difficulties. In this study, efficiency refers to avoiding the waste of education resources. Wastage occurs when student enrolment and participation rates in schooling are below one hundred per cent. Equity refers to providing more resources to those who need them most, meaning that students from poor backgrounds have adequate funds to complete schooling. In other words, the state education funds are distributed according to student needs. The absence or inadequacy of finances has brought different problems for both secondary and university students, including stress in secondary schools, student suicides, depression and violence. The study revealed that bursary funds allocation had been muddled with inequity and inefficiency. For instance, in one of the counties surveyed, there was inadequate data on the beneficiaries of bursary funds and the criteria used. The research calls for efficient and equitable financing of education at all levels.