Mon. May 20th, 2019

Only 62,800 Secure University Slots as Close to 500,000 Others Miss Out

Some 62,851 out of 69,151 candidates who scored a C+ and above in the 2017 Form Four national examinations have been selected to join universities under the government-sponsored programme.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Monday announced that 36,945 of those selected are male while 25,906 are female.

Of the 69,151 candidates, 553 opted for diploma courses, according to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).

A further 5,747, representing 8.3 per cent of the 69,151 candidates, have not secured placement. This is because 2,128 did not apply while 3,619 applied but could not secure places as they did not meet the cluster qualifications of the courses they applied for.


“I call upon the placement service to reach out to these candidates individually to give them a chance to apply,” said Ms Mohamed.

This year’s number has dropped by 21,538 compared to the 84,389 candidates who attained C+ and above in 2016 and got slots.

Ms Mohamed said the government is determined to ensure that no qualified student is denied a chance to join local universities.

“I expect a report of the students who have not been placed within two weeks,” she said.

Ms Mohamed said those who have secured places, but wish to transfer to other programmes will be given a one-month window – between May 1 and May 30 – to do so.


According to the CS, the number of students selected to pursue courses in Science Technology and Mathematics (STEM) increased by 20 per cent compared to the previous year.

She said 44.8 per cent of the candidates, which translates to 28,132, have been admitted to science courses while 34,716 will study humanities. Of the group joining STEM programmes, 8,979 are female while 19,156 are male. The CS said the ministry is keen on increasing admissions to STEM courses and addressing gender imbalances.

Further, she said, the ministry will continue to ensure that candidates from minority and marginalised groups are not disadvantaged. “In the 2018/2019 placement cycle, we are admitting 971 candidates to join various universities based on the affirmative action considerations,” she said.


The increase follows a government drive to encourage more students to pursue courses in the three fields to help achieve goals in Kenya’s Vision 2030. Already, the government is funding students based on courses, a move that has seen some universities focusing on arts get less funding.

She called on the KUCCPS to look into findings of an analysis of universities conducted by the ministry this year that shows their competitiveness during their selection and placement of students. “Whereas some universities filled their capacities by 100 per cent, others recorded extremely low student placement” she said.

Adding, “In fact, one university did not attract even one applicant. I challenge CUE and affected universities to find out the causes of this unattractiveness and to review their programmes to make them attractive to students and relevant to the needs of the labour market,” she said.


In the selection done over three months, some 28,866 were selected to join technical and vocational colleges. KUCCPS CEO John Muraguri said students will start reporting to their colleges by May.

In the 2017 national examination, some 100,906 others scored between C and C-, grades good enough to get them admitted to diploma and certificate courses.


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