Placement agency sets new rules for varsity admissions

Wednesday March 18 2020

Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) CEO John Muraguri addressing media at the agency's office last year. KUCCPS has said that a new subject cluster points system will be used to admit students to universities this year. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A new subject cluster points system will be used to admit students to universities this year, the colleges placement agency has said.

Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) on Wednesday asked last year’s Kenya Certificate of secondary Education examination candidates to start revising their choice of courses following the new guidelines.

Revision of course choices will start on Wednesday next week and end on February 14.

In the new model, a student will only be admitted to study a course after attaining a minimum grade required in all the subjects.

For instance, a student seeking to study law will now be required to attain grade B in Kiswahili or English, previously, the candidate was only required to have a B in English.


To study engineering, a candidate must attain C+ and above in all the main science subjects — mathematics, chemistry and physics — to pursue the course.

KUCCPS chief executive John Muraguri said the revised system would ensure candidates are not only admitted to programmes they qualify for but also meet the requirements set by professional agencies.

Mr Muraguri said all candidates who scored the minimum grade C+ of 46 points in last year’s KCSE exams would be eligible for placement in both public and private universities to pursue degree courses under the government-sponsored programme.

“All candidates who scored a minimum mean grade of C- of 32 points shall be eligible for placement to pursue diploma courses offered in tertiary institutions. All candidates who scored a mean grade of D of 18 points and above shall be eligible for placement to craft certificates courses offered in tertiary institutions,” said Mr Muraguri.


He said candidates who did not submit their application through their schools should use the opportunity to apply for degree, diploma or certificate courses of their choice as government-supported students.

Mr Muraguri added that candidates who sat the KCSE examination earlier than 2017 are only eligible for placement to diploma and certificate courses. 

The decision on the dates was arrived at a meeting of KUCCPS that was held in Nairobi and chaired by acting Charles Ringera.

He said the admission will be on merit affirmative action and will be guided by students choices.

This means that 70,073 students who managed the minimum university entry qualification of mean grade C+ will join 70 public and private universities across the country against the available capacity of more than 100,000.


In 2016, some 88,929 qualified for university. This means that private universities and colleges will once again not be able to have students under parallel programmes which have been their backbone.

There were 142 (0.02 per cent) candidates who obtained an overall mean grade A in the 2017 exam compared to 141 (0.02 per cent) in 2016.

In 2017, KUCCPS placed 71,089 students in public universities while 17,368 joined private universities.

Only 142 candidates scored A, 2,714  A-, 7,344 B+, 12,628 B, 19,385 B- and 27,860 C+. These are the ones who will go to university.

The candidates with C totalled 40,474 as 61,040 scored C-, 88,447 D+, 135,550 D, 179,381 D- and 35,536 E.