A total of 89,486 Form Four leavers who did their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2018 will join both public and private universities under the funding of the government.
The selected students will secure funding in form of loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) for those from poor backgrounds while those who will be able to pay for themselves, their fees will be subsidized.
In 2018, 660,204 candidates sat for the KCSE examination. 90,755 of them scored the mean grade of C+ and above with the remaining scoring C- and below. According to the Ministry of Education, only 89,486 of those who scored C+ and above have secured placement for degree courses of their choice.
The number of male students selected is still higher than that of female students. 56,210 male students, representing 59 percent of the 89,486 have been selected while 36,876 female students, representing 41 percent have been selected.
In 2017, only 69,151 candidates scored the mean grade of C+ and above, out of which only 62,851 were selected to join universities on a government-sponsored program.
Mushrooming of Universities
Kenya has a total of 22 public universities, 14 chartered private universities and 13 universities with Letter of Interim Authority (LIA).
All the universities in Kenya have branches across the country making the country as one with the most university branches in the East African region.
Universities seem to have forgotten their core business which is education and have embarked on the business of making money through opening up of numerous branches without putting an emphasis on quality.
The Cabinet Secretary of Education, Professor George Magoha has threatened to close down some of the university branches if quality will not be observed. According to Professor Magoha, there is no need of having more than 10 universities within a radius of 100 kilometers.
Useless Degree Courses
Earlier this year, the Commission for University Education (CUE) has rejected 133 courses offered in more than 20 Kenyan universities for being useless, shallow in scope, and unmarketable.
This means that approximately 10,000 students absorbed in the various universities might be forced to discontinue the courses, and the academic papers for those who have already graduated may not be recognized by prospective employers.
The commission is supposed to approve the various courses offered by Kenyan universities, however, the 133 identified have been termed as a way of making money with no career prospects.
The findings follow a CUE audit of the Kenyan universities carried out in 2018 in readiness for the 2019 placement.
According to the report, it was noted that many universities seem concerned about huge enrollment, and have given inaccurate details about their actual capacity, their resources, and the teaching staff solely for the purposes of minting cash.