Kenyan universities are headed for tough times later this year when they will be required to take in the overwhelming number of KCSE candidates who have qualified for admission. According to the Education secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, 149,717 candidates scored the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination. This was 22,000 higher than the previous year’s.
This latest outcome is expected to pile pressure on the institutions of higher learning whose infrastructure has failed to keep up with the large number of students seeking admission. The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) said it was still not certain of the exact number of students who will be selected to join public universities.
The crisis of admission is defined by the fact that only 60,000 of 2013’s 123,365 candidates who attained the minimum entry grade made it to public universities. The situation is made worse by the fact that no new public universities have since been established and the existing ones have not expanded their capacities.
This year’s pass rate of 149,717 students means that approximately 90,000 will be forced to join technical colleges or enroll to pursue more costly courses in private institutions beginning September. Others will have to enroll for expensive parallel degree courses in public varsities or quit their pursuit for higher education altogether.
Those students who secure university places will also face an accommodation crisis that has been occasioned by limited investment in hostels and the government’s effort to delink admission from bed capacity.
The increased number of students joining universities will also pile pressure on Helb which has had to cut the amount of money it grants students forcing many students to live in squalor.Helb expects to receive much more than the 110,000 applications it received last year, out of which it was able to assist only 44,000 students.
SOURCE: Business Daily