Top 2019 KCSE Students Troop to Medicine, Engineering

The cream of the KCSE class of 2019 is headed to the prestigious medicine, engineering and architecture programmes.

Half of them will study at the University of Nairobi, affirming its place as the institution of choice in the country. The UoN has admitted 313 of all the 630 A students.

Some 281 of the 630 A students are to study medicine as 117 read engineering and 61 architecture.

Enrolment in law by the top performers declined for the second year in a row with only 12 listed to pursue the course. Last year, only nine A students pursued the once most-sought after programme.

Shunned courses

University administrators are scratching their heads after 56 courses failed to attract any student.

Placement service data shows that the 56 programmes had 2,905 places distributed in 20 universities.

The undesirable programmes are in science, theology, environment, development and agriculture.

Egerton, Masinde Muliro, and Maasai Mara universities have the highest number of degree programmes that won't take any student for 2020-2021 academic year.

Eight are offered at Egerton, six at Maasai Mara and five at the University of Embu.

At Egerton, they are science degrees in energy technology, automotive technology, building and construction and medical engineering.

Programmes at Maasai Mara University include agribusiness management, environmental studies (biology and health), and science degrees in botany, environmental management and zoology.

Education CS George Magoha has renewed calls for university reforms that have stalled since 2018, including review of undesirable programmes.

“The Ministry wishes to direct the universities offering those programmes to establish why they are not attractive and implement corrective measures,” Magoha said.

He spoke when he launched the 2019-2020 university placement at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

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

Magoha asked universities to contact the new students, give them joining instructions and fast-track the start of their academic journey.

In the 2019 KCSE examination, 689,007 candidates were Kenyans, thus eligible to be sponsored to a university or technical institution by the government.

Of these 125,463 attained mean grades of C+ (plus) and above and were eligible for placement to university as government-sponsored students.

Big wins

University of Nairobi, JKUAT, Mount Kenya University were the biggest winners in terms of enrolment numbers.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology took the lion’s share with 6,006 enrolled under the government sponsorship programme.

University of Nairobi will get 5,894 students. UoN also doubles as the institution with the most competitive courses sought after by the top performers.

Mount Kenya University was allocated 4,400 students outweighing traditional giants like Egerton.

Kabarak University is second among private universities getting a high enrolment with 2,327 students, Kenya Methodist University 2,268, Catholic University of Eastern Africa 2,091 and KCA University closes the top five list with 2,062 students.

International Leadership University
admitted only two students despite declaring a capacity of 150.

TVET puzzle

Some 2,632 candidates who scored C+ plus and above and qualified for university places opted for diploma courses in TVET institutions.

John Muraguri, KUCCPS chief executive officer, said TVET institutions declared a capacity of 276,163.

Muraguri notes that despite a capacity lower than the number of candidates, TVETs did not get enough applications to fill them.

"We would like to ask the government to push for schools to compel students to fill their choice of courses especially for TVET institutions," Muraguri said.

However, the ministry notes the institutions are still attracting low numbers with only 88,724 placed in Monday’s exercise.

This is despite the government efforts to make the institutions lucrative and equal, if not better, than universities.

Last year, the government provided those in the institution under government sponsorship a Sh30,000 capitation.

The students are also eligible for student loans with the Higher Education and Loans Board.

Of those placed in TVET, 53,726 will be admitted to diploma; 29,112 to craft certificate and 5,886 to Artisan certificate courses.

However, the ministry says the institutions' strategy of an all-year-round admission will help increase enrolment.

This year’s placement data indicates that of the 122,831 applicants placed to degree courses, 66,661 will join science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programmes.

This represents 54 per cent of the total students placed, setting a milestone in the campaign to popularise the STEM courses.

The remaining 56,170 (45.73 per cent) have been placed to arts and humanities.

The science courses, continue to attract and absorb more male students with, 42,267 (63.41 per cent) while 24,394 (36.59 per cent) are female.

A gender analysis of the placement to degree courses indicates that 70,050 (57.03 per cent) are male and 52,781 (42.97 per cent) female.

Under the affirmative action, 331 students with disabilities got places to pursue degree, diploma and certificate courses.

Magoha also announced that cut-off points were lowered by two for applicants from marginalised regions in specific programmes.

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