Education is a powerful tool that influences the development of social skills, intellectual prowess of individuals and reasoning capacity of people. It is a major driver of socio-economic development in all nations. This explains why every nation including Kenya and UK strives to develop strong education and sustainable education system. According to Deloitte (2015), every nation has an education plan that is aimed at promoting quality learning. The nations are keen in developing creative and innovative young people through the systematic learning processes in schools and universities. The nations also aim at nurturing talents and developing professionals in diverse fields of operations or subject areas.
Over the years, provision of quality education has been a major concern of many nations globally. The global leaders have always developed solid measures to promote universal education to ensure that everyone achieve the basic right. Despite the spirited attempts to provide quality education especially higher education, nations are facing numerous challenges in achieving the goal. The challenges include but not limited to funding issues, lack of learning materials, poor learning conditions, poor governance and inadequate research funds. It is necessary for nations to handle or mitigate the issues highlighted to ensure the realization of the educational objectives.
This paper gives a comparative analysis of the higher education system in Kenya and UK. The two nations run education systems with the aim of equipping their citizens and the entire generation with pertinent skills necessary for socio-economic development (Deloitte, 2015). The two nations have recorded tremendous achievement in their quest to enhance access to quality higher education. They have expanded their education systems thereby allowing more student admission and enrollment to pursue various courses.
Despite the progress, the two nations still have gaps to cover in terms of funding within their education system to enable them achieve the higher learning aspirations of their citizens (Clark, 2015). Comparatively, Kenya has not achieved much as compared to UK that is one of the developed nation. Kenya face serious challenges that require mitigation compared to UK. This is evident by the difference in number of students who join higher education learning institutions in both nations. UK records a higher number than Kenya where the opportunity is accorded to the elite. The level of unfair access to higher education in Kenya is far much higher than access to higher education in the UK.
The comparative funding of higher education between Kenya and UK
Indeed, the higher education system in Kenya and UK is facing serious funding issues. The funding problem and disparity is a major challenge in Kenya as compared to UK. This challenge is real despite the tremendous achievements that have been recorded interns of expansion of student admission in higher learning institutions and access (Clark, 2015). In Kenya, student admission and access to higher education has increased by over 20%. In the current year, new admissions is expected to expand to over 26% while the UKs higher learning system has expanded by over 78% being a country that has well educated generation.
According to the statistics from the Kenyan government and price water house coopers, the higher education system in Kenya faces funding and policy challenges, inadequate research funds, poor course development and higher levels of corruption (KPMG, 2014). The challenges impede sustainable and access to higher education in the nation. Many students cannot access higher learning institutions and receive quality education due to the challenges as compared to the UK system (Johnson, 2016). Statistics indicate that more students qualify to join the higher learning institutions but the problem of capacity that is attributable to low funding is hindering more admission by the joint admission board.
The Kenya government only sets aside less than 1% of its entire budget to the higher education system. Ion the financial year of 2014/2015, higher education loans board that funds students received only 63million dollars as compared to the UKs higher education funding council for England (HEFCE) that was allocated 26.3 billion pounds over the same period (Johnson, 2016). This aspect depicts clearly that the UK government allocate more resources towards higher education compared to the Kenyan government. This in turn results in more students acquiring professional qualifications in UK than in Kenya.
The poor higher education in Kenya is presenting serious repercussions to the education sector. The low funding means that only a few students can access higher education and become resourceful to the nation. It also means that the higher education system will continue to have limited capacity in terms of quality training personnel, infrastructure and research extension activities (Clark, 2015). With these limitations, the learning environment is always contaminated thereby deprive students the opportunity to have best experiences as compared to the UK system. Most higher learning entities especially the over 22 public universities lack funds to expand their classrooms, lecture theaters, build and stock libraries and develop well-equipped research centers. The issues affect the quality of higher education in most Kenyan institutions which results into serious doubts about the innovative nature of the Kenya graduates.
The Kenyan situation is in contrast to the UKs situation. The UK government has invested heavily on education at all levels including the higher education level. The investment has ensured mitigation of policy challenges, building of quality learning infrastructure, support of many young students who seek to pursue higher education and quality course development. The funding has equally ensured adequate availability of learning materials, superior support systems such as well-equipped libraries, good lecture halls and well-trained trainers.
According to the report by KPMG (2014), the progress in higher education system in the UK has never been enough. It has not met the aspirations of all students that it was designed to achieve (Johnson, 2016). This is attributable to the financial challenges that the education sector is equally facing. Currently, the sector lack adequate funds to streamline its operations and ensure that every student attains higher education through government grants and loans. The government admits that a lot of progress has been made but more still needs to be done. More in terms of setting aside money for higher education grants, expansion of learning institutions, research and learning materials acquisition.
Additionally, funding is a problem in Kenya than UK based on the high corruption levels within the higher education system. The Kenyan system is characterized with immense corruption and misuse of the resources meant to finance higher education programs. This aspect is not a major issue in UK as the stakeholders ensure effective utilization of the available resources.
It is prudent to conclude that higher education system in Kenya and UK face funding challenges. The challenges threaten to impede the realization of the optimal performance levels and sustained world-class higher learning systems in the nations. From the study, funding issues are highly grave in Kenya compared to UK. The Kenyan higher education system receives minimal funding from the government as compared to the UK. The funding stands at 83mioolion dollars compared to the UKs over 26.3 billion pounds. Therefore, the UKs education system is much developed as compared to the Kenyan system. Many students in the UK are able to access higher education grants and loans. The universities in the nation are also able to fund their infrastructural development project, execute research on diverse issues and perform quality curriculum development.
List of References
Clark, N, 2015, Practical Information: Education in Kenya, World Education News and Reviews, Accessed on 13th Mar. 2016, http://wenr.wes.org/2015/06/education-kenya/
Deloitte, 2015, Making the Grade 2015: The Key Issues Facing the UK Higher Education Sector. Accessed on 13th Mar. 2016.
Johnson, J, 2016, Access to higher Education, The Gov. UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/access-to-higher-education
KPMG, 2014, Education in Kenya. Accessed on 13th Mar. 2016, https://www.kpmg.com/Africa/en/KPMG-in-Africa/Documents/Kenya.pdf