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Expectations high on university and college course selection

By Augustine Oduor | May 24th 2021
Dorcas Jelagat Kabirech (centre) of Moi Girls High School, Eldoret celebrating with her mother Josephine Kabirech (left) and Father Richard Kabirech at their home at Rafiki Farm in Kabarak, Nakuru County on May 12, 2021, after scoring an A of 82 points in the KCSE Examinations. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha is today expected to reveal universities and colleges placement details for the more than 700,000 candidates who sat secondary examinations.

Magoha is expected to announce whether all the 143, 140 students who scored the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) will get slots in public universities.

He is also expected to issue placement options to middle-level colleges for the other 500,000 who did not meet university entry grade.

This means students will today know the existing capacities in all the public and private universities and the available courses for them to select.

They will also know the available courses and capacities in all the certificate and diploma colleges.

The trend for the last three years reveals that Bachelor of Education receives the most applications during revisions.

Bachelor of Commerce ranks second among the most selected programmes, with Bachelor of Pharmacy emerging third.

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Quantity Surveying, Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Law are also preferred by students.

Bachelor of Science (electrical and electronics engineering), Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Medicine close the top 10 most popular programmes that attract most applicants.

However, trends based on KUCCPS data shows that medicine, pharmacy, engineering, architecture and economics remain the most preferred courses by the top-performing candidates.

Finer details of this year’s courses and capacities will be made clear today when Magoha releases the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) revision timelines.

Last year, Kisii University declared the highest available capacity of 6, 860, followed by Maseno University with 6, 765.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) declared the third highest capacity of 6, 326 as University of Nairobi said it had 6, 227 available spaces.

Kenyatta University declared available capacity of 5, 638, closing the top five institutions with highest capacities.

These numbers expected to change this year.

Education CS Prof George Magoha [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Magoha announced that KUCCPS was directed to engage with higher education regulatory bodies – Commission for University Education (CUE) and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) – to ensure that all learning institutions are prepared to enrol these candidates.

“This is in line with the Ministry of Education’s goal of providing fair and balanced access to quality and relevant higher education and training and the President’s policy of 100 per cent transition,” said Magoha.

The elephant in the room however is whether the government will fund all the students under the 100 per cent transition policy as was directed by president Uhuru Kenyatta.

During the release of the KCSE examination results, Magoha said said the president directed that the 100 per cent transition for higher education be implemented.

For the last three years, emphasis on 100 per cent transition has been on movement from primary to secondary.

And this year, the ministry has been directed to ensure all the KCSE candidates transit to the next phase of education.

“Our Government has ensured that every child in our country has a place to pursue a career, and everyone deserves a chance,” said Magoha.

Magoha said the Government has a duty to nurture each of the learners to pursue their dreams regardless of how low they start to the very top of the academic ladder.

“I am therefore proud to announce that we have created opportunities for academic progression for all the 747,161 who sat the 2020 KCSE examinations,” Magoha said during release of KCSE results.

“We believe in this dream, which is indeed what our Competency Based Curriculum is all about,” said Magoha.

The Standard has estimated that transiting all the students to universities and colleges will cost about Sh65 billion to cater both capitation and loans by the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb).

Calculations by the Standard reveals that for universities education alone, the government will require a total of Sh25.8 billion if the 143, 140 students who attained C+ and above are admitted to universities.

Of these, Sh20 billion would be sent to universities as capitation, given that the average capitation amount the government spends on each student per academic year is Sh140,000.

Helb Chief Executive Charles Ringera said the Fund will require some Sh5.8 billion to cater for all the students who will join universities. He said this will however be on condition that each student will be allocated Sh40, 500 per year.

For the certificates and diploma students who will join the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET), the government would require Sh40 billion to fund all the learners.

Of these, Sh18 billion will be the capitation money sent to the TVET institutions to to fund all the 572, 113 who scored between C (plain) and D–.

This is premised on the fact that the government sends capitation of Sh30,000 to all TVET students annually. TVET fees per student is about Sh56,000.

In addition to this, Helb will require another Sh22 billion to supplement the government capitation for all the students enrolled in TVETs.

This is because on top of the Sh30,000 capitation sent by the government per TVET students per year, HELB also tops up the allocation by sending each student Sh26,400 which goes towards fees.

Helb also sends each TVET student another Sh13,600 for their upkeep. Cumulatively, the total amount Helbrequires to fund each student admitted in the middle level colleges is Sh40,000 per year.

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