20pc of 2019 KCSE candidates secure university slots

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha with his Principal Secretary Julius Jwan at the KICD in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/KENNA CLAUDE 

Irene Githinji @gitshee

A paltry 20 per cent of students who sat last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam have secured placement in universities on government sponsorship, with the lion’s share of the positions being taken by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

But last year’s top three candidates in last year’s exam— Buluma Tony Wabuko, Barasa Maryanne Njeri and Aboge David Odhiambo— have secured places at the University of Nairobi (UoN) to study Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

JKUAT admitted 6,006 against a declared capacity of 6,291 followed by UoN with 5,894 against a declared capacity of 6,215 and Maseno University with 5,716 against a 6,765 capacity.

Kenyatta, Kisii and Moi universities follow with 5,659, 5,566 and 4,948, respectively.


Presiding over the release of the universities and colleges placements yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said there were 145, 129 places for government-sponsored students in universities and 276, 163 in Technical and Vocational  Education and Training (TVET) Institutions.

 “Following successful completion of placement process, 122,831 candidates have secured placement to degree courses in universities while 88,724 secured slots in TVET institutions.

Of those placed in TVET, 53,726 will be admitted to diploma, craft certificate (29,112), and artisan certificate (5,886) courses,” said Magoha when he announced the university selection results at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) yesterday.

The most competitive degree courses are Medicine and Surgery offered at UoN as well as Medicine and Surgery at Kenyatta and Moi Universities, respectively.

Other competitive courses were bachelors of Architectural Studies/Architecture, Dental Surgery, Science (Civil Engineering), Pharmacy, Science (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) all offered at UoN.

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery offered at JKUAT and Mount Kenya Universities, respectively were also sought after as was Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical Engineering) at Technical University.

Magoha said 122,831 of 689,007 have been placed to various degree programmes, the bulk of whom will be pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes while the remaining 563,544 were eligible for placement to TVET programmes at diploma, craft certificate and artisan certificate levels

He said the TVET number is expected to increase once the ministry receives returns from institutions where students may have registered directly.

Similarly, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) will undertake continuous placement of students to TVET institutions, which will further grow the enrolment.


Magoha said placement data indicates that of the 122,831 applicants placed to degree courses, 66,661 (54.27 per cent) will join STEM programmes, which are critical for producing skilled workforce required for the attainment of the  government’s Big Four agenda.

The remaining 56,170 (45.73 per cent) have been placed in Arts and Humanities courses.

Of the applicants placed to STEM, 42,267 (63.41per cent) are male while 24,394 (36.59 per cent) are female.

The CS also said it was encouraging that 2,632 candidates who scored C+ (plus) and above in the last year’s examination and qualified for placement to degree programmes opted for diploma courses in TVET institutions, and were placed appropriately.

“This number has been growing over time. In 2019, the number was 1,269. The growing number of these “TVET Champions” is a clear indication that concerted efforts to improve enrolment in TVET courses are yielding fruits,” said Magoha.

 The CS in line with Universities Act, 2012 on the placement policy, Kuccps embraced affirmative action criteria for applicants living with disabilities, those from marginalised regions and for gender.

A total of 331 applicants living with disabilities have been given their top priority courses for which they met the minimum admission requirements.

In addition, specific programmes cut-off points were lowered by two for applicants from marginalised regions and 1,638 benefited.

“A similar concession benefited 679 applicants under Gender Affirmative Action (624 female, 55 male).

The total number of applicants who have benefited from Affirmative Action are therefore 2,648,” said Magoha.

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