More than 600,000 students who qualified for entry into higher institutions of learning in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations will today know the universities and colleges they will join this year.
The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS), which admits students to universities, colleges and technical institutions, is expected to make the highly anticipated announcement today although all learning institutions are closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.
A total of 125,449 students scored a C+ and above and will be distributed across the country’s 74 public and private universities. Another 563,479 who scored between grade C and E will be given an opportunity to apply for courses in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) institutions.
Tvet institutions, however, can only absorb about 350,000 students which is about 62 per cent. The rest, 38 per cent, will be enrolled in vocational institutions across the country.
According to the 2019 KCSE results, the number of qualifiers for university slots shot up by 13.7 per cent, with 35,369 more students making the cut for university entry compared to 90,377 in the 2018 KCSE examination.
All universities have a declared capacity of 193,878 this year but the Commission for University Education has revised this to only 138,287, mainly because of course duplication and programmes with no takers.
Public universities can only enrol 114,000, which means that the rest 11,449 will be enrolled in private universities under Government sponsorship.
The government pays Sh150,000 per year for every student in public university and only 60,000 for those in private universities.
It is because of this funding disparity that Strathmore and the United States International University enrol their students independently.
It is expected that hundreds of students will seek to be transferred to private universities which are better resourced, run more predictable academic calendars and offer more market-driven courses.
Although the government has been spending billions revamping Tvets, the colleges are experiencing a severe staff shortage and under-enrolment due to the perception that they are second-rate.
Last year, only 98,393 Form Four leavers were placed in the institutions because the rest did not apply.
According to official government figures, more than 130 Tvets across the country have no single student enrolled despite the government putting billions of shillings to boost technical training in the country.
The data from inquiry report by the Ministry of Education department of technical and vocational education shows a total of 133 institutions have no student enrolled in the both technical and business courses offered in various colleges.