KU, Maseno, JKUAT win big in 2021 University placement

Some 7,850 failed to apply while another 6,617 opted for diploma courses

In Summary

• In 2020 KCSE some 142,540 candidates qualified for university admission but only 128,073 students were placed to pursue degree courses.

• The CS commended the rise in popularity of diploma courses among those qualifying for university.

Distribution of students to universities 2021
INFOGRAPHIC: Distribution of students to universities 2021

Kenyatta University, Maseno, JKUAT, MKU and the University of Nairobi will absorb the highest number of students who sat 2020 KCSE and qualified for university under government sponsorship. 

Kenyatta University is set to admit 6,733 students. Maseno University comes second and will enrol 6,659 under the government sponsorship programme.

JKUAT got (6,529), University of Nairobi (6,407), Mount Kenya University (5,489), and Moi University (5,187).  Egerton University will admit 4,039 students.

Among private universities, MKU's 5,489 is the highest. It is followed by KCA University (2,724), Catholic University of Eastern Africa (2,691), Kabarak University (2,157) and Zetech University closes the top five with 1,673.

Newly-established Mama Ngina University College had the least admissions with only 60 students placed. Others include Amref International University (71) and Pan-African Christian University (121).

The details are part of the 2019-2020 university placement exercise that was made public on Tuesday.

In the placement, more than 13,000 students who sat the 2020 KCSE exam and qualified for state sponsorship in university places have snubbed the opportunity.

Some 142,540 candidates qualified for university admission but only 128,073 students were placed to pursue degree courses.

Data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service shows 7,850 failed to apply for university places. Another 6,617 opted for diploma courses in technical colleges.

 “7,850 with C+ (plus) and above failed to apply,” Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said.

He spoke while launching the 2019-2020 university placement returns at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Magoha commended the rise in popularity of diploma courses among those qualifying for university. Some 2,632 more candidates who scored C+ plus opted to join the technical colleges compared to last year.

Magoha said the government will concentrate on placing those who applied for university places. Those who did not will be left out.

“We should focus on the placement of those who apply, without assuming that every student who qualifies for university wants to join,” Magoha said.

Where are they?

Magoha raised the alarm over the high rate of candidates who choose not to further their education after completing secondary school.

Out of the 737,527 students who sat the 2020 KCSE exams, only 265,145 students will proceed to universities and technical colleges.

The fate of the remaining 472,382 candidates furthering their education remains uncertain. They did not apply for college.

“It is sad that some of our children after completing Form 4 choose that to be the end of their education,” Magoha noted.

He further took a swipe at secondary school heads for failure in ensuring students enrol for university places before sitting exams.

Out of 10,437 secondary schools registered to sit KCSE exams in 2020, KUCCPS indicates that only 2,506 applied for university courses before taking the test.

The government requires all registered candidates to indicate their university and college preferences and courses while in Form 4.

“This signals a lost opportunity for career guidance as a majority of students wait for the KCSE results before they can think of career choice,” Magoha said.

He further called on the Teachers Service Commission to take action on headteachers who do not submit college applications for their candidates.

Rise of technical colleges

In the 2020 placement, technical colleges are perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the enrollment exercise.

KUCCPS data shows 137,072 students will join the technical colleges under government sponsorship.

On Tuesday, Magoha said the students will benefit from study loans enabled by an allocation of Sh3 billion from the exchequer.

The placement comes at a unique time the sector is facing uncertainty over shutdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

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