Top cream of 2019 KCSE students to join UON

Tuesday June 02 2020

Prof George Magoha, the Education Cabinet Secretary, briefs the media in Kibra, Nairobi, in February. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The University of Nairobi will admit the highest number of candidates who scored grade A in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), placement results released yesterday indicate.

It will admit 313 of the 630 top students, with Tonny Wabuko Buluma, who was the best student last year, joining the university to study Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will admit 117 students, 64 will join Kenyatta University, Moi University will get 53, while Technical University of Kenya will admit 17 and Egerton University will admit 26.

Others are Maseno University (10), Mount Kenya University (8) and Masinde Muliro University will get six students.

However, Bruno Sharif Kahindi, who scored an A of 81 points, opted to join Nairobi Technical Training Institute to pursue a diploma course in pharmaceutical technology.

The top students went for courses such as medicine, engineering, pharmacy, computer science, actuarial science, and architecture, among others.


The most competitive degree course is Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery offered at the University of Nairobi, followed by the same course offered by Kenyatta and Moi universities, respectively.

Bachelor of Architectural Studies offered at JKUAT is another competitive course.
While releasing the results on Tuesday at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said a total of 122,831 candidates have secured placement to degree courses in universities while 88,724 were placed in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

“Of those placed in TVET, 53,726 will be admitted to diploma, 29,112 to craft certificate, and 5,886 to artisan certificate courses.

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

It is also noted that the placement service undertakes continuous placement of students to TVET institutions, which will further grow the enrolment,” said Prof Magoha.

A gender analysis of the placement to degree courses shows 70,050 (57 per cent) are male and 52,781 (43 per cent) are female. The universities had a declared capacity of 145,000 places.

The figures show that 68 universities will admit the students, with the University of Nairobi admitting 5,894, JKUAT (6,006), Kisii University (5,566), Kenyatta University (5,659), Maseno University (5,716), Mount Kenya University (4,400), and Moi University (4,948) among others.

The figures also indicate that Mount Kenya University is the most popular private university with 4,400 students being placed in the institution against a capacity of 4,885.

Catholic University of Eastern Africa has been allocated 2,091 students, Kabarak University (2,377), KCA University (2,062), Kenya Methodist University (2,268), Presbyterian University (1,169) and Zetech (1,943).
Private universities are considered better resourced, offer market-driven courses with  better employability and have also adapted e-learning more quickly in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

However, they stand at a disadvantage because students who get enrolled in public universities are funded at Sh150,000 per year while those in private colleges are only funded at Sh60,000 per student, leaving the institutions to plug the gap.

At Catholic University, the most popular course is computer science, at Kabarak, it is the Bachelor of Information Technology, while at KCA University, Bachelor of Commerce is the most popular course.

In TVET, Prof Magoha said that male students are 39,695 (45 per cent) while the female students are 49,029 (55 per cent).

“The Ministry is impressed to report that 2,632 candidates who scored C+ and above in the 2019 KCSE 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 minister said.

He said the growing number of these “TVET champions” is a clear indication that concerted efforts to improve enrolment in TVET courses are yielding fruits.


“Pursuant to the Universities Act, 2012 and the Placement Policy, the Placement Service applied affirmative action criteria for applicants living with disabilities, those from marginalised regions and for gender.

A total of 331 applicants with disabilities have been given their top priority courses for which they met the minimum admission requirements,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

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

This year’s placement figures show that of the 122,831 applicants placed to degree courses, 66,661 (54 per cent) will join Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) programmes, which are critical for producing skilled workforce required for the attainment of the “Big Four” Agenda,” said the CS.

He added that the remaining 56,170 (46 per cent) have been placed to Arts and Humanities.

Of the applicants placed to Stem, 42,267 (63 per cent) are male while 24,394 (37 per cent) are female. He regretted that some degree programmes in some universities did not attract applicants.
“The ministry wishes to direct the universities offering those programmes to establish why they are not attractive and implement corrective measures.

Students as well as universities and colleges can access the placement details through their respective portals on the Placement Service website. Applicants will also be notified individually through short text messages,” Prof Magoha said.

He added that the Placement Service will conduct the inter-institution transfer process online following the laid down procedures while ensuring adherence to timelines for students who may wish to change their programmes and institutions.

Universities, the CS said, have been asked to contact their respective students and give them joining instructions and speed up the start of their academic journey “given that most universities have continued with online learning during this era of Covid-19 restrictions.”

TVET Principal Secretary Julius Jwan said the government is developing a blue print on TVET to be launched this year, and which will run for the next 10 years.
“TVET will be managed as a pathway with key involvement of the industry with clear explanation of roles of every stakeholder.”