Varsity Admission Board's Good News for KCSE Candidates
Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service has said KCSE candidates will now get a chance to review their choices before university admission.
Thousands of candidates who qualified to join university after last year’s KCSE exams have a chance to review the courses they wish to study under new and relaxed admissions guidelines.
The body that replaced the former Joint Admissions Board Wednesday announced those who may wish to revise their courses would get an opportunity before the September intake. And for the first time, the Government will sponsor eligible candidates in both public and private universities.
Some 121,654 candidates eligible for admission to universities after attaining the minimum entry grade of C+ and above will benefit from the directive by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
In the past, candidates chose their preferred courses prior to sitting exams, which means the 2013 class has the advantage of selecting courses based on their performance in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams. KUCCPS further relaxed the admissions rules to facilitate candidates secure their first choice courses.
The candidates have an option of choosing three institutions offering their first choice course, raising chances of landing their dream career. This means, for instance, a student wishing to study medicine, as his or her first choice, will select three universities offering the programme, and if he/she misses a slot on the first, they will be considered in the next.
KUCCPS acting chief executive officer, John Muraguri, said candidates will only be placed on the programme of their second choice if they fail to qualify for the first option and also if there are no vacancies in all the three institutions chosen under the first option.
These are part of the new university admissions guidelines adopted Wednesday by higher education stakeholders comprising public and private universities and colleges.
KUCCPS organised the meeting at Bomas of Kenya to give stakeholders opportunity to ratify the new rules.
KUCCPS will place students in both public and private universities and colleges. It is established under the Universities Act 2012 to co-ordinate the placement of the ‘Government sponsored’ students to universities and colleges based on the Government’s priority areas.
And those who failed to secure university admission will apply for diploma courses in various institutions of higher learning. For degree programmes, candidates will choose up to eight courses they wish to study. For diploma courses, candidates will make six choices.Points Reduction
However, during admission, female candidates will still benefit from the two points reduction from the overall cut off point. Another two points will be slashed (for both gender) for specific programmes until the two-thirds gender rule is attained.
The minority or marginalised groups will have a five-points reduction on the overall cut off point for degree programmes. KUCCPS has capped the minimum universities admission requirement at C+ and C- for diploma.
Mr Muraguri said the cut off point would still be determined by available capacities.
He said admissions would be based on merit and students’ preferred choices. “Those who meet the minimum requirement but after second revision are not placed
in any preferred programme shall be offered places in any unfilled programme they qualify for,” he said.
This is the first time Government sponsored candidates will be placed by KUCCPS.
Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said the placement and admission process would be complete by July. It was however not clear whether the Government will start the sponsorship programme this year. “We shall see to that once the placement is complete. We may not sponsor all of them but again it will depend on available finances,” said Prof Kaimenyi.
He said plans are also underway to set up the universities Funding Board to oversee administration of the Universities Fund, from which universities and colleges may take loans from.
He said he has instructed Commission for University Education (CUE) boss Prof David Some to come up with a concept note on how to set up the funding board. “Within one week we shall have started the process,” he said.
But stakeholders raised concerns over funding of the Government-sponsored students, warning there might be a crisis when the Government delays release of the capitation to universities, several months after students have been admitted.
Also for the first time, the cost of each programme will be based on the differentiated unit cost. This means science courses will get different funding arts. The universities fund will determine the funding rates of each programme.
The Universities Act stipulates that the state is expected to sponsor all qualified candidates placed by the Service to public and private universities and colleges.
Kaimenyi said a task force has been set up to look at the Government’s priority areas. “Both public and private universities and colleges must also sit and come up with the priority areas,” he said.Declining Quality
Mr Muraguri said the Service might also offer specific sponsorships to specific programmes of priority areas and through specific institutions.
Kaimenyi, however, expressed concern over the declining quality of education and the small number of lecturers available in universities and colleges.
“We do not have enough lecturers in our institutions. To be a good lecturer you must have a PhD and we intend to train 1,000 in the next five year,” he said. He also said the universities fund would help institutions improve their infrastructure.
- The Standard, April 24, 2014 KCSE Results
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