Varsities embrace virtual admissions

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Jkuat students during a past registration. Photo/PD/File

Lack of fees and Internet connectivity challenges have seriously affected the ongoing registration of first-year students in public universities.

University of Nairobi (UoN), for instance, requires students to pay the relevant fees before admission.

Module II students are supposed to generate admission numbers online upon payment of fees.

“All fees and other charges are payable before the commencement of the academic year as per the respective fees structure.

No student will be allowed into lectures, examination rooms or participate in any activity where fees for the year is not fully paid,” UoN has advised.

Loan recovery

Higher Education and Loans Board (Helb) invited undergraduate first time loan application for 2020/21 in July, an exercise which is set to continue until December 31.

Helb chief executive Charles Ringera said the December 31 deadline was premised on schools resuming in January.

He said Helb is also observing the coronavirus trends and the decision by the Ministry of Education on whether to re-open earlier than January or not.

“Universities are collecting the data on virtual admission, for instance we have about 50 per cent of UoN’s data.

This data will inform us on progress of admissions and see how to move forward,” explained Ringera.

Overall, the  Helb annual student budget has grown from Sh4.6 billion financing 109,189 students in 2012 to Sh11.4 billion financing 248,050 students in 2017-18.

The Exchequer funds 53 percent of the total Helb budget while 47 per cent is from loan recovery.

To guarantee sustainability of Helb, the board last year urged employers to enhance loan recovery mechanisms to track over 74,000 defaulters who were holding over Sh7.2 billion as at December 31, 2018.

This intervention was expected to improve Helb’s performing loan portfolio from the then 72 per cent to more than 80 per cent by 2023.

UoN online lectures are to begin on September 21, via e-class, Google classroom or Google meet platforms.

UoN Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama is expected to address first year students virtually today.

“Students who may face difficulties in locating the registration links should get in touch with the Academic Registrar, director Graduate School, the respective college registrars or Dean of Students,” UoN has advised students.

It is the same registration procedure at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat).

“Registration will be done online beginning September 1. This will be done through the students’ portal.

You are required to create your account on the students’ portal,” the Jkuat Academic Affairs division advises.

“Prior to registering, you are required to pay your fees into the bank accounts specified,” it further directs.

“All students are required to have a laptop/tablet to enable them access the online learning resources.

Detailed technical specifications for the devices will be uploaded here in due course,” the Academic Affairs division adds.

Jkuat has also stated that all lectures will be done online during the first semester.

Details of how to register for the lectures will be availed once a student completes registration.

Kenyatta University, on the other hand, has rescheduled re-opening dates for newly admitted students.

“Kenyatta University wishes to inform all our newly admitted students for the May 2019/20 and September 2020/21 intakes that the opening dates, for the first semester 2020/21 academic year will be communicate.

Upon scheduling of the opening dates, all new students will be advised on the basic conditions for reporting,” the varsity said in a notice.

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