A total of 79,313 candidates who sat Form Four exams in 2014 have been selected to join 31 public universities and 50 middle-level colleges in September.
After the final revision of courses, statistics from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) now indicate that 67,790 students will join public universities, compared with 57,250 last year, while 11,523 candidates will join middle-level colleges.
Despite middle-level colleges having a capacity of 41,550, students who qualified to join them chose not to do so.
KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri on Thursday said medical courses, architecture, engineering, computer science and actuarial science attracted the highest number of applications.
However, only 316 candidates have been selected for medicine courses, with the University of Nairobi taking the highest number at 120.
Kenyatta University took 50, Moi University (43), Egerton University (33), Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and technology (30) while Maseno University will receive 40 students.
A total of 483,630 candidates sat for the exams in the 2014 and 3,073 scored A, 11,768 managed A- while 19,814 got B+.
The students' move to shun the middle-level colleges is a setback to the government, which has been expanding them after some were converted to universities.
This financial year, the government allocated Sh3 billion to technical training institutes.
Mr Muraguri blamed parents for the negative attitude students show towards technical colleges.
“We have to encourage students to join TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) institutions. Parents should also change their perception on these institutions. At the moment, every person wants to join university yet we have limited space,” said Mr Muraguri.
Kenyatta University has admitted the highest number of students at 5,942 while Kirinyaga University College will get the lowest at 534.
Kenya Medical Training College will admit 4,860 students while Emining Technical Training Institute will admit 120 students.
Through affirmative action, Mr Muraguri said, 946 students from marginalised areas would join public universities while another 363 will join based on their gender.
He added that 163 students with disabilities would also join the universities
“When we lowered the marks for university entry, it created an opportunity for many students to pursue courses that they had chosen,” he said.
University vice-chancellors and other stakeholders are now set to meet on Tuesday to validate the placements.