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University students who missed dream courses to make fresh pick

By Augustine Oduor | June 22nd 2021

Some 32,718 students who qualified for admission to universities and colleges have missed out on any of the courses they selected.

Data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service (KUCCPS) also shows that some 10,707 students who scored the minimum university entry grade of C+ did not make any course selection.

Agency Chief Executive Mercy Wahome (pictured above) said all efforts were being made to track the candidates who failed to apply for courses in universities to ensure no one is left behind.

She, however, said of the candidates who scored C+ and above and made applications, only 94,275 were allocated courses of their choice.

Wahome said these candidates were successfully placed in the degree courses they selected during the first phase of the placement exercise.

But the good news is that starting today, the students who missed out on their dream course and those who did not make any selections at all will have another opportunity to make fresh choices.

“We do not wish to leave behind any candidate qualified to join university hence our move to allow those yet to be placed to make a second revision,” Dr Wahome said.

Graphics: The Standard

The students will have up to July 5 to make fresh applications before placement results are released.

This as details emerged of avoidable mistakes made by KCSE candidates that lock them out of their dream careers.

It emerged that during applications, many of the candidates assume that because they scored high grades and satisfied all the minimum requirements for a course, they would automatically secure the course.

KUCCPS report says that meeting the minimum requirements does not necessarily guarantee that students will get into a programme, and advises that they must not ignore the strength of their own performance compared to that of other applicants.

The agency says that all applications are subjected to a competitive process for the limited slots, where only those with the highest cluster weights among the applicants get priority.

KUCCPS report also finds that some candidates assume that the indicated programme cut-off point of the previous placement year is the actual cut-off point for the current placement process. 

The agency says the previous cut-off points are normally provided to the applicants to assist them in gauging how competitive a programme will be, based on the past trends.

The actual cut-off points are often computed at the end of the placement process.

This means that cut-off points may vary from the previous years depending on the number and performance of applicants for the specific programme in the given year, the available programme capacities and the general performance for the year.

To avoid mistakes, applicants are advised to apply for a programme only where they believe that, based on the previous cut-off trends, their cluster weight would be higher than the likely cut-off points for the programme. 

The agency also says students miss out on dream courses when they apply for highly competitive degree programmes and opt for concurrent consideration for diploma courses as an alternative (multiple category consideration) when there are other degree courses that they are in a better position to secure and are qualified for.

In addition to these, KUCCPS report also reveals that most students fail to revise their choices as were submitted by their schools, hence losing the opportunity to apply for courses where they have a better chance based on their performance.

This means that in cases where schools fail to submit applications, students who do not revise their courses may fail to secure the courses of their preference. 

KUCCPS also reveals that some students select programmes but fail to complete the application process, while some candidates submitted only one choice instead of the maximum four. 

Most shocking is the finding that some high school heads deliberately fail to make university and tertiary colleges applications for candidates at school level, compromising their prospects to pursue their dream careers.

For the past three years, high school principals failed to send applications for some 1.6 million candidates who sat KCSE.

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