5,278 students shun degree in favour of Tvet diplomas

Kuccps CEO Agnes Mercy Wahome and Education CS George Magoha

Kuccps CEO Agnes Mercy Wahome and Education CS George Magoha at Eastleigh High School, Nairobi, yesterday. Prof Magoha received the 2021 student placement report.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

Some 123,963 students who scored C+ (plus) and above in the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam have been placed to join university under government sponsorship.

Among them, 67,237 are males while 56,726 are females. The students have been placed to join both public and private universities. A total of 144,466 candidates had qualified to join universities.

Over 500,000 students who qualified to join technical and vocational education training (Tvet) institutes did not apply and have not been placed in any college.

The number of those placed in universities is 4,110 lower than those placed last year, when 128,073 students were placed to pursue degree courses.

Releasing the placement results yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said those placed represents 85 per cent of the number of students who qualified to join university.

“Following the release of the 2021 KCSE examination results in April, Kuccps opened its portal three times to enable the students to make new applications or revise their previously made choices,” he said at Eastleigh High School, Nairobi, where he also launched a Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) classroom.

Of those who have qualified for degree programmes, 5,278 have been placed in Tvet institutions of their choice, while 16,310 others did not submit applications, despite the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement (Kuccps) reopening their portal three times to give the students more time to apply for courses.

Last year, 7,850 did not apply for either degree courses or diploma course. Prof Magoha encouraged students to continue applying for the Tvet courses, saying the future will be brighter for them.

Despite a high number of students failing to apply for Tvet courses, the number of those who shunned degree courses for Tvets was 5,278, signifying a rising preference. “This positive trajectory is due to the investment by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the Tvet sector and encouraging more students to embrace the Tvet courses,” said Prof Magoha.

Some 826,807 candidates sat the 2021 KCSE exam. Among them, 145,145 scored a mean Grade of C+ (plus) and above, according to data from the Education ministry. Those who scored a mean grade of C plain and below were 681,662, meaning they qualified to apply for placement in the Tvets and the teacher training colleges (TTC).

However, only 124,258 have been placed in Tvets, while 1,538 have been placed in primary education TTCs and another 293 in secondary education TTCs.

This has left out 555,573 students unplaced. The government hopes to continue placing them progressively as they apply under government sponsorship.

The number of those who did not apply is, however, lower than the 604,021 who scored similar grades in 2020 and were not placed.

Students who score C- (minus) and C (plain) are eligible to apply for diploma courses. Those with Grade D- and D+ (plus) apply for certificate courses, while those with Grade D- (minus) are eligible for craft courses. Those with Grade E apply for artisan courses.

Kuccps places students in various courses based on the minimum entry requirement as set by learning institutions. Kenya has 4,450 Tvets and 11 national polytechnics. Some Tvets such as Nairobi Technical, Kabete Technical, Sigalala, and Mombasa have in the past been attracting more students.

The CS said those who did not apply for placement are presumed to have applied to study abroad or in private universities.

Most Grade A students were placed to join science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses. Competitive courses include Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, BSc in Clinical Medicine, BSc in Nursing, Bachelor of Laws, Architecture, Bachelor of Computer Science, and Bachelor of Engineering (Aeronautical).

Kuccps neither released data on the placement per university nor the placement of the top candidates. In the last two consecutive years, older universities such as Nairobi, Egerton, Moi, Kenyatta, Maseno and the Technical University of Kenya received most A students. The other universities that received top students are Masinde Muliro, Kisii, Uzima and Dedan Kimathi.