The first phase for 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) students to apply for or revise their university or college courses closes on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) opened its portal on May 17 to allow students to make their applications, amid calls to consider TVET opportunities.
KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer Dr Mercy Wahome said that those who applied at school before the KCSE exam were expected to revise their choices to take into account the programme costs as published in the portal.
“Detailed guidelines, minimum requirements, available programmes and their costs and universities and colleges are accessible on the portal,” said Wahome when the portal was opened.
The 2022 KCSE results indicate that 19.9 per cent or 173,127 of 869,782 candidates scored C+ and above, the minimum entry grade for degree programmes.
The remaining 696,655 (80.1 per cent) scored grades between C and E, with KUCCPS urging them to take advantage of available technical and vocational education and training (TVET) opportunities.
Wahome said this will not only provide a pathway to higher education for the thousands of youths but also reduce wastage.
In Turkana, for instance, some 7,889 candidates sat the 2022 KCSE, out of whom only 13 per cent scored C+ and above while the rest, 87 per cent obtained grades between from C to E.
“There are TVET institutions in Lodwar that students who scored D- and E can enrol for certificate and artisan courses. They can later pursue diploma courses at Turkana University College,” she said during an open day at Turkana University College, held last week.
She was concerned that some Form Four leavers who attained the minimum university entry grade of C+ have resorted to fishing in Lake Turkana instead of pursuing higher education.
Wahome said every student stands a chance to further their studies despite their grade, even as she urged teachers to contact their former students and mobilise them to apply for courses through the KUCCPS portal.
“Kindly tell them, regardless of what they got, they can come and start over. Let them come and apply for the certificate, the diploma and even for the degree courses of their choice,” she told teachers at the forum.
Courses on KUCCPS
Wahome also urged the youth to take up opportunities offered at the National Polytechnics and public technical and vocational institutions, which have listed their artisan, craft and diploma courses on the KUCCPS portal.
They include new entrants such as the Kengen Geothermal Training Centre, whose courses provide skills for the energy sector and the Morendat Institute of Oil and Gas, which has listed TVET courses in engineering, environmental science, laboratory science and telecommunication, among others.
The government has pledged to create employment opportunities for TVET graduates by investing in five priority sectors of agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises, housing, healthcare, the digital superhighway and creative economy.
Only students who apply through the portal and are placed for degree programmes in public universities and diploma, craft certificate and artisan courses in TVET institutions will be eligible to receive Government scholarships.
They will also be eligible to receive a loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
Students placed in private universities and other institutions will not qualify for Government scholarships but are eligible to apply for a loan from HELB.
At the end of the application period, the portal will close to give way for simulation and once all revisions and simulations have been done, KUCCPS will release the placement results.
Institutions then issue admission letters and joining instructions after which they will now be linked to the next step, which is funding.
According to the new model, funding will be categorized according to students’ needs, with the vulnerable and extremely needy receiving full Government support.
Students joining universities and colleges in September will use a new funding model, which the Government announced last month.
The funding model for universities will be pegged on the actual costs of degree programmes.
According to the new model, Government financial allocation to universities will focus on individual students, which means Form Four students will no longer be required to apply for courses to pursue in tertiary institutions before they sit their KCSE exam.
“Government financial allocation to universities will focus on individual students. For the next year’s class the cost will be different and our portal will change in terms of what we put as the cost,” said Wahome.
“We have always asked the students to make applications before sitting the exams but where cost is a factor of decision making, we cannot continue with centre applications because at that point, before they do the exams, we will not have the new cost,” she added.
The HELB’s Means Testing Instrument will be applied to scientifically determine the level of need as well as the ability or inability of households to raise fees using known quantitative and income proxy indicators.
Consideration is made on family socio-economic background, affirmative action, household composition and size then the data is validated using strategic partners.
Previous school type is checked as well as family size and composition, where weights are assigned to whether it is polygamous or monogamous and the ages of the parents.
Other considerations are marginalization, course type whether Arts or Science, parents background where it is established whether the student is an orphan or from single parent setting as well as expenditure on education to understand whether other siblings are in high school or tertiary institutions.
In the long run, the new model will see more funds to public universities by Sh20.3 billion