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KUCCPS Portal Opening: Why Picking Degree Courses Will Be Harder for KCSE Class of 2022
KUCCPS Portal Opening: Why Picking Degree Courses Will Be Harder for KCSE Class of 2022
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KUCCPS Portal Opening: Why Picking Degree Courses Will Be Harder for KCSE Class of 2022

Tony Mukere
May 17, 2023

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Placement Service (KUCCPS) on Wednesday, May 17, opened the placement portal at an event presided over by Education CS Ezekiel Machogu. 

The launch of the KUCCPS portal kickstarted a process that will see the KCSE class of 2022 pick their higher education choices for degree, diploma, and certificate courses.

869,782 sat their KCSE last year, with 173,127 attaining grade C+ and above. The government announced that every candidate who attained at least a C+ will be guaranteed a slot in a public university.

However, it will not be business as usual for the KCSE class of 2022 as they pick degree courses. 

Also Read: 10 Most Marketable Short Courses in Kenya For 2023

No More Funding for Private Universities

The Education CS announced that the government would no longer fund the educational scholarships for students who pick courses offered by private universities under the KUCCPS process. 

"If one wants to join a private university within Kenya, we will be able to place him or her there, but the government will not give them a scholarship. They will only access loans from HELB. 

"I wish to reiterate that students who will select courses in Public Universities will be eligible to access both the Government scholarships and loans, while those who will select Private Universities will be eligible for Government loans only,” the CS announced. 

The net effect is that there will be greater competition for degree courses, as slots in the 39 public universities remain unchanged.  

Also Read: Govt Report Ranks Highest Paying Job Sectors in Kenya - Money Weekly

KUCCPS Cluster Points and Cut Off Points

More than 10,000 students, who would ordinarily have been placed in the 33 private universities, will now likely compete for the limited degree courses available in the 39 public universities. 

The competition results in KUCCPS using cluster points for each course. The cluster points are calculated based on the core subjects - as opposed to the overall grade. 

Popular courses such as medicine, engineering and law - usually have high cut-off points - which may go up even further. This is because those who pick private universities will no longer receive government scholarships. 

Also Read: Top Courses for Students Who Scored D+, D, and D- in KCSE 2022

New University Funding Model

The development comes as the government rolls out yet another major reform in the higher education sector. President William Ruto announced that from the financial year starting July 2023, universities will no longer access block funding. 

Under the plan, KUCCPS will be required to disclose the cost of each degree course as students choose their courses. Upon admission, students will not receive uniform scholarships as has been the case. Funding will be based on financially capability under these three categories: 

  • Vulnerable students
  • Less vulnerable students
  • Able students

Vulnerable students (29%) will be fully sponsored and will not pay fees. They will also not get any loans. The number of students is estimated to be about 45,000 in universities and 42,000 in TVETS. 

The less vulnerable students will get a 50% scholarship and receive 43% of their fees as loans. Their parents will raise the remaining 7%. 

Able students will receive a maximum of 38% of the fees in the form of a scholarship and 55% in the form of loans. Their parents will raise the remaining 12%. 

KUCCPS Placement in Private Universities

The KCSE class of 2015 became the first group to enjoy government-sponsored education in private universities. 

Under the arrangement, the KUCCPS would place students in both public and private universities. However, the students would pay a small portion of the fees (similar to what government-sponsored students pay in public universities).  

The state would then subsidise the fees by paying capitation to private universities.  A total of 86,270 state-sponsored students have so far been admitted to private universities since the process began in the 2016/17 financial year. 

Also Read: KRA Asks Kenyans to Update Bank Account, Other Details on iTax Portal

Broke Public Universities 

The arrangement, however, has come under criticism from stakeholders in public universities - which are now struggling as a result of acute underfunding. 

Parliament, alongside other stakeholders, has questioned why the government has been sending billions to private universities while public universities are on the verge of collapse due to poor financing. The concerns were part of the reasons that led to the changes in policy. 

Candidates who scored C (plain) and below will choose their courses from teachers training colleges and 205 TVET colleges. 

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Mukere is a digital journalist based in Nairobi. He is passionate about writing and shaping stories that make the world a better place. Connect with Mukere on LinkedIn.

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