December 18th 2017

Top Stories / National

Despite progress, more qualified candidates still miss university places

Expansion of public universities over the past decade has reduced the number of qualified candidates missing out on higher education, but the number of those left out is still higher than that of successful applicants.

By Waithera Murugiswaithera@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 13 Jun 2016 12:37 EAT

Expansion of public universities over the past decade has reduced the number of qualified candidates missing out on higher education, but the number of those left out is still higher than that of successful applicants.

A total of 165,766 candidates taking the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations scored C+ and above, the entry qualification for university education, but only 74,389 candidates will be selected to join public universities in September for their degree courses. Over 525,000 candidates sat for the exam.

The statistics show a vast improvement in admission into public universities, which stood at a rate of less than 15 percent of qualified students for decades following the introduction of 8-4-4. The government established at least a dozen new universities between 2008-2015, hence the improvement. Private universities normally admit much fewer students, though the sector has witnessed rapid expansion as well.

Mr John Muraguri, the chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) has revealed also that 19,000 students who qualified to join public universities have missed out on their first degree choices and will have to reapply. The Placement Service has published a call for students to to do second and final revision of course choices ahead of admission in September. Mr Muraguri said the students will be informed at the end of June after the selection is completed.

 

Most students prefer to study medicine, law and engineering while shunning art-related courses, but the first choice of courses are normally very competitive, meaning more students can't get their first degree choices.

The number of unfilled slots in art related courses stands at more than 4,000. The University of Nairobi has 446 unfilled slots in in Bachelor of Arts program, Kenyatta University, 392, and Egerton University has 196.

KUCCPS has also expressed concern that students have shunned Garissa University College, which lost 148 people, most of them students, in a terrorist attack last year. The university had 710 slots but only 23 have been taken up

Waithera is a staff writer at the Kenya Free Press.





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