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Minister to fast track university admissions

BUSINESS
By | Apr 30th 2010 | 2 min read
By | April 30th 2010
BUSINESS

By SAM OTIENO

Secondary school leavers will soon be spared the agony of waiting for two years before being admitted to public universities.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto said a policy will be introduced to end the tradition where the Joint Admissions Board (JAB) admits school leavers after two years.

"This is a matter we have discussed with the staff of my ministry and will soon be implemented in two to three weeks," said Mr Ruto.

He said he would soon meet vice -chancellors of public universities to table the proposal and come up with a way forward.

The two-year period, Ruto said, subjects students to unnecessary delay to access higher education.

This means Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates can join a public university as early as September, barely six months after the Kenya National Examination Council releases the results in March.

Clear backlog

When the policy is implemented, Ruto said, universities would conduct a double intake to clear a backlog of admission as a result of the old system.

The minister said the system contributes to poor quality standards and inequity in accessing higher education.

The move is part of reforms the minister announced yesterday following his appointment to head the Higher Education Ministry.

Other reforms announced by the minister include establishment of an open university within one year to open doors to Kenyans seeking higher education.

Ruto said his target is to triple the universities admission within the next one year through distant learning.

"We intend to decongest our universities by introducing open learning to students who take humanity courses and do not require physical contact with lecturers," said Ruto.

The minister announced he would tackle the issue of quality in the universities, which he described as "degree plants".

"The issue of quality in higher education is a serious concern by both public and Government," he said.

The minister was speaking after inaugurating the new board members of the Commission for Higher Education.

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