Public Universities Eligible for Government Scholarship and HEF Loan in Kenya 2024

Discover how the new NHEF model revolutionizes higher education funding in Kenya. Learn about eligibility, application process, and implications

Sep 3, 2023 - 19:50
Jan 7, 2024 - 07:29
Public Universities Eligible for Government Scholarship and HEF Loan in Kenya 2024
Public Universities Eligible for Government Scholarship and HEF Loan in Kenya 2024

In a groundbreaking move to revolutionize higher education funding in Kenya, the government introduced a New Higher Education Funding (NHEF) model. This model seeks scholarships and loans for students placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) in public universities and Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutions. This article delves into this new funding model's details, criteria, application process, and implications for students' higher education journey.

Key Takeaways

  1. The NHEF model introduces a new approach to higher education funding in Kenya.
  2. Funding is determined based on program choice, household income, performance, and priority areas.
  3. Means Testing Instrument (MTI) assesses need levels through eight variables.
  4. Vulnerable and extremely needy students receive total government funding, while others receive varying percentages.
  5. Students apply for scholarships and loans through the HEF Portal, providing necessary documents and information.
  6. The NHEF model aims to promote equity and accessibility in higher education funding.

Public Universities and the HEF Model

The HEF model, unveiled by President William Ruto in May 2023, ushers in a new era of funding for higher education in Kenya. The traditional funding approach, where students from diverse backgrounds receive similar financial support, has given way to a more tailored and needs-based approach. The HEF model directly channels funds to individual students based on specific criteria, thus ensuring that financial assistance is distributed to those most need it.

Some of the websites that have been officially listed on the university fund website as of the time of this writing include:


Criteria for Funding

The new funding framework is based on four key criteria: the choice of the program, household income band, affirmative performance, and government priority areas. To determine the need levels of students, a Means Testing Instrument (MTI) is employed, which considers eight variables. These variables include parents' background, gender, course type, marginalization, disability, family size, and composition.

The combination of these variables allows the government to assess the varying needs of households and allocate funds accordingly. For instance, students from less privileged backgrounds are more likely to receive scholarships. In contrast, those from more affluent backgrounds may receive more loans.

Levels of Funding

The NHEF model classifies students into four categories based on need: vulnerable, extremely needy, needy, and less needy. Students falling under the weak and highly needy categories qualify for 100% government funding through scholarships and loans. Needy and less needy students receive 93% of government funding, with the remaining 7% being borne by the students.

Application Process

Eligible students must apply through the Higher Education Financing (HEF) Portal to access government scholarships and loans. The portal requires applicants to provide various details, including a valid email address, phone number, KCPE and KCSE index numbers, college/university admission letter, sponsorship letter (if applicable), parent/guardian details, and more. Students seeking loans must also provide two guarantors' ID numbers and telephone numbers.

Once the application is submitted, students can expect an award within 30 days, along with an SMS payment notification. The funding will be disbursed in September, allowing students to start their academic year with the necessary financial support.

Implications and Future Outlook

The NHEF model represents a significant shift in how higher education funding is allocated in Kenya. By directly supporting students based on their needs and circumstances, the government aims to provide equal opportunities for all. The increased funding for university education and TVETs underscores the government's commitment to this endeavor.

READ ALSO: Academic Grading in Kenya: Understanding the System from Primary, Secondary to University


Introducing the New Higher Education Funding model is pivotal in Kenya's education landscape. By embracing a student-centered approach to funding, the government strives to ensure that every eligible student can pursue quality education. The criteria, application process, and implications of this model have been thoroughly discussed, shedding light on its potential to revolutionize higher education funding and create a brighter future for Kenyan students.


 Who is eligible for government scholarships and loans under the NHEF model? 

To be eligible, students must be Kenyan citizens and have been placed by KUCCPS for an undergraduate, diploma, craft certificate, or artisan course in accredited public universities or TVET colleges.

How is the funding level determined for students?

Funding levels are determined based on the monthly household income, with students falling into categories such as vulnerable, extremely needy, needy, and less needy.

 What is the application process for government scholarships and loans? 

Students must apply through the HEF Portal, providing the required documents and information. The application is followed by an evaluation period, and successful applicants will receive an award within 30 days.

Can students in private universities apply for government scholarships? 

No, government scholarships are only available to students in public universities. However, students in private universities can apply for loans through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

 How will the NHEF model affect continuing students?

Continuing students will not be affected by the NHEF model. They will continue to receive funding based on the existing funding model.

When will the disbursement of funds take place?

The application deadline is August 31, and funds are expected to be disbursed in September, aligning with the start of the academic year.

Joseph Richard Joseph Richard, a leading contributor to, uses his decade-long expertise in finance, business, and technology to offer clear, reliable guides and analyses. His work aids Kenyans in making informed financial and business decisions, earning him a reputation as a trusted industry authority.