Government admits record number of students as parallel programs killed

The Government will fund university and college education for 116,718 students who sat last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) exams.

This is the highest number of students the Government has committed to sponsor for higher education.

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service (KUCCPS) revealed the details during a stakeholders’ meeting yesterday as admission data for qualified students was released.

KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri said 88,626 candidates who scored C+ and above had all been allocated courses of their choice.

Of these, Mr Muraguri said public universities had been allocated 71,089 students while private institutions will absorb a record 17,368.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the placement of 10,000 Government-sponsored students to the 28 private universities.

This is the first time students are being admitted to both public and private universities at the same time through KUCCPS.

It is also the first time all students who qualified are being admitted to universities, and the first time universities have been allocated students below their declared capacities.

Public university vice chancellors were yesterday divided over the fate of Module Two programmes as this year’s placements left no students for admission into the parallel programmes.

Committee chairman 

Vice chancellors committee chairman Francis Aduol said Module Two was supposed to cater for students who qualified but could not be admitted.

“Now that we don’t have students who scored C+ left out, Module Two will die. And there is no problem. It should probably not be there,” said Prof Aduol, adding that the parallel programmes created space for Kenyans to pay heavily for education the Government should be paying for.

“If it turns out that there are no more students, it’s the right thing for us. The Government has indicated that they will sponsor students even in private universities,” said Aduol. But Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Vice Chancellor Mabel Imbuga disagreed.

“Even as we celebrate today, we are not happy because we are losing money. But our children have a choice to public or private universities.”

Muraguri announced that Sh3 billion was allocated to support the students; Sh1 billion was wired to the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) to cater for those in private universities.

He further revealed that 194 candidates who scored grades C+ and B also opted to study for diplomas in middle-level colleges.

In total, 28,261 students have been selected to pursue diplomas across all the 70 tertiary colleges.

Muraguri warned universities not to charge higher fees.

“The set fees for all Government-sponsored students is Sh16,000 per year with administration costs of about Sh30,000. Do not charge higher than this because we shall withdraw the students,” he said.

Data shows the University of Nairobi has been allocated 5,955 students - the highest number. Kenyatta University has 5,741 and Moi University 5,190.

JKUAT has been allocated 4,994 and Egerton University 3,621 students.

For private institutions, Mount Kenya University will get 2,905 students, Kabarak University 1,286 and Kenya Methodist University 1,146. Catholic University of East Africa has 1,104 students. For diploma courses, Eldoret Polytechnic has been allocated 2,652 students. Meru National Polytechnic has 1,941 and Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology has 1,745.