EDUCATION

Top 2018 KCSE students pick medicine and engineering

Medicine, engineering and pharmacy among the distinguished courses attracting top scorers

In Summary

University of Nairobi bags the highest number of A students, to study medicine

• Top 2018 KCSE candidate to study aeronautical engineering at Technical University 

Education CS George Magoha
Education CS George Magoha
Image: JACK OWUOR

Top 2018 KCSE scorers will enrol in some of the country's best universities to study prestigious courses of their choice. 

According to official results from the university placements agency, all the 314 students who scored straight As in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam have been admitted to courses considered distinguished and reserved for top brains.

They include Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, law, architecture, engineering and computer science,  pharmacy, nursing and quantity survey. 

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service will open the online system for inter-institution transfer applications between May 1 and 30.

Medicine will carry the bulk of admissions, at 147, while engineering comes in second with 77 enrolled to pursue its various disciplines.

Other courses include architecture with 23 students, computer science 16, pharmacy 10, dental surgery nine, actuarial science seven, law six, quantity survey two, economics and survey four, and microbiology one.

The top 2018 KCSE candidate, Juliet Otieno, will study aeronautical engineering at the Technical University of Kenya. 

When results were announced, the former Pangani Girls High School student told reporters that her dream was to get a scholarship to study aeronautical engineering outside Kenya, preferably at Stanford University in the UK.

Some 89,486 students are set to be admitted in public and private universities.

 

The University of Nairobi, which has the highest cluster points for some of the prestigious courses, will admit 181 A students. This makes it the institution with the highest number of the country's top performers.

Out of the 181 students, 120 will study Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.

Twenty-nine students have been enrolled to study the course at Moi University, the country's second-largest institution.

Kenyatta University, which recently completed construction of the country's third referral and teaching hospital, was allocated 12 students.

No student has been forwarded to study the course at Kisii University, which in February received approval to offer the programme.

Of 660,204 candidates who sat KCSE, 90,755 scored a C+ and above, the minimum entry grade for public universities.

Some 1,269 of these have chosen to pursue diploma courses in Technical Vocational Education and Training Institutions. This is a 46.7 per cent increase from the 597 candidates who made a similar decision in the 2018-19 cycle.

A further 98,393 students will proceed to pursue diploma and certificate courses in polytechnics and technical training institutions. This will be a boost to the government agenda to promote skills.

Notably, unlike in previous years, the majority of those headed to university will pursue science courses. At least 72 per cent of the A students will proceed to study engineering and medicine.

Of the 89,486 students placed in degree programmes, 57,687 (64 per cent) have been selected to science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, while 31,799 (36 per cent) have been placed in arts courses.

"This is a big step towards the realisation of the Big Four Agenda and Vision 2030 aspirations," Education CS George Magoha said when he announced the placements yesterday.

He said more girls should be encouraged to pursue science courses. Out of those enrolled in the STEM courses, 36,189 (63 per cent) are male, while 21,498 (37 per cent) are female.

Science courses

Of the 89,486 students placed in degree programmes, 57,687 (64 per cent) have been selected to science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses, while 31,799 (36 per cent) have been placed in arts courses.

"...Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics courses are fast gaining track and have surpassed arts in enrolment, but the trend is worrying as the number of boys still remains higher despite our learners having a level playing ground," Magoha said.

Out of those enrolled in universities, 52,610 (59 per cent) are male and 36,876 (41 per cent) female.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology will have the highest number of admissions, with 5,901, followed by UoN (5432), Kenyatta University (5,289), Maseno University (4,633) and Moi University (4,504).

Agriculture-related courses are some of the least competitive. Out of the 98 listed courses, 38 are agriculture-related.

Last year UoN, Moi, JKUAT and KU were some of the most-sought-after universities.