Nearly 90,000 Form Four leavers who sat end of secondary school examinations last year have been picked to join public and private universities as government-sponsored students.
Of 660,204 candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination last year, 90,755 scored a mean grade of C+ and above, the minimum entry level grade for public universities.
However, only 89,486 candidates have secured placement for degree courses of their choice.
The remaining 1,269 who qualified to join public universities opted for diploma courses in TVET colleges.
More male students will be studying under government sponsorship with 56,210 selected (59 percent) against 36,876 (41 percent) female, the same ratio reported last year.
Last year, 62,851 out of 69,151 candidates who scored a C+ and above in the 2017 KCSE exam were selected to join universities under the government-sponsored programme.
Of the 69,151 candidates, 553 opted for diploma courses, according to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service.
Speaking on Monday during the release of the universities placement results, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha also revealed nine degree programmes did not attract a single applicant last year.
Prof Magoha said students were also not placed in 98 other programmes either because they did not qualify or were given slots in degrees of their choice.
"This situation must be addressed. The Commission for University Education must conduct a thorough analysis of these courses, including a review and scrapping of such programmes," said Prof Magoha on Monday at Catholic University on Monday during the release of 2018-2019 universities placement results.
The Education CS urged universities should subject the degree programmes that they offer under greater scrutiny to avoid duplication of courses.
The national government, Prof Magoha said, will carry out a rationalisation of academic programmes and universities.
"If possible, existing universities and campuses can be consolidated for maximum utilisation," he said
He said the government freeze on the establishment of new universities and satellite campuses must be upheld to avoid flooding of higher institutions.