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Scramble for degree, diploma slots starts as 90,000 pick courses

By Augustine Oduor | Feb 6th 2019 | 3 min read

More than 90,000 eligible students will today know whether they will secure admission to university when Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed unveils course selection.

The Standard established that the Government is weighing its options as it emerged enrolling all students who scored C+ and above in last year’s KCSE exams would have huge cost implications.

One of the options is whether the cut-off points should be raised to reduce the number of those joining universities.

Only 68,545 students were admitted to universities while 57,488 were admitted to colleges last year. Some 32,521 were admitted to crafts courses and another 4,898 into artisan programmes.

This year, the number of students who qualified for university admission went up by about 20,000, which may require an additional Sh2 billion to to fund their education.

Certificate courses

Students who will be admitted to study for diploma and certificate courses will also know their fate today.

Also being discussed is whether State-sponsored students should continue their studies in private universities.

President Uhuru Kenyatta instructed the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) to place some 10,000 students in private universities.

The students placed in these institutions are funded at the same rate like those admitted in public universities.

Private universities say they will need Sh4 billion for admissions, including arrears owed to the institutions.

Last year, 12,656 students were placed in private universities. An analysis of the enrolment data shows there are students who opt to transfer from public to private universities to pursue various programmes under the government funding.

Over the last two years, 3,720 transfers have been recorded, among them students leaving public for private universities, or one public university to another.

Last year, 2,652 student transfers were registered. Of these, 384 moved from public to private universities, another 611 moved from private to public universities and 175 moved between private universities.

Those who moved between public universities were 1,482.


Transfers from public to private universities were attributed to better facilities and competitive programmes in the private institutions. Public universities were blamed for cases of missing marks and strikes.

Today’s exercise will see the KUCCPS portal opened for students to select courses based on their performance.

Last year, Bachelor of Education received the highest number of applications. The programme, which had a combined capacity of 9,915 slots across all universities, received 30,509 applications.

Bachelor of Commerce, whose total declared capacity by universities was 6,949, was the second-most preferred programme last year with 24,495 applications.

Bachelor of Pharmacy was third with 11,491 applications against 275 slots.

Bachelor of Arts, which had a total of 3,050 spaces, attracted 9,153 applications as Bachelor of Quantity Surveying, with a capacity of 115 slots, attracted 8,334 applications.

Bachelor of Architectural Studies, with 136 slots, attracted 7,208 applications as Law attracted 6,997 students, yet the total capacity was only 690.

Bachelor of Science (electrical and electronics engineering), which had 335 slots, received 3,821 applications. Bachelor of Engineering received 2,556 applications against a capacity of 363.

Bachelor of Medicine, with 496 places, closed the top 10 most popular programmes with 2,486 applications.

Last year, the portal was opened for first revision on January 24 and closed on February 14.

In 2016, the portal was opened for first revision on April 11 and closed April 30 while in 2017, it was opened on January 30 and closed on February 17.

Highest number

Universities will also be scrambling to admit the highest number of students.

Last year, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology admitted the most students at 4,866.

Kenyatta University was second with 4,667 students ahead of the University of Nairobi with 4,540. Moi admitted 3,865 as Maseno took in 2,712. Mt Kenya University admitted 2,446 students.

Others were Egerton (2,328), Masinde Muliro (2,269), Kabarak (2,181) and Chuka (2,107).

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