The Kenyan Government through the Education Cabinet Secretary has proposed that Government sponsored students will now be admitted to private universities in an effort to deal with the problem of congestion in public universities.
The recently formed Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), formerly known as Joint Admission Board (JAB), will be tasked with admitting students to universities in September.
KUCCPS announced that the cut-off placement for degree programmes is B (60 points) for male candidates and B- (58 points) for female candidates.
This year, the number of students who qualified for admission to public universities went up to 74,389 compared to last year’s 67,790.
In 2012, the Universities Act was passed in order to allow government-sponsored students be admitted to private universities. However, government-sponsored students are yet to be admitted to the private universities.
Speaking during a farewell ceremony for former United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) vice-chancellor Freida Brown in Nairobi, Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Matiang’i said that KUCCPS would prepare a report on how the students will be admitted.
“Private universities have capacities and we should allow them to take a share of the students instead of confining the students to public universities that have no capacity,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Students who elect to join private universities would receive a government sponsorship depending on the course they are pursuing.
The shift was expected to be a big win for private universities and colleges that have for years complained that the admission agency denied them the opportunity to admit top students to their institutions.
The move was expected to motivate expansion of private universities and address the shortage of space for qualified candidates.
A board created under Universities Act of 2012 was expected to establish the cost of each degree course to allow the Treasury to transfer the funds to the public universities. This is yet to happen.
Dr Matiag’i also announced that the government had reduced by half accreditation fees for private universities as well as quality assurance fee.
“We want to encourage private universities to invest in the education sector and we cannot do that if we charge them prohibitive fees. They are our partners in education and not competitors,” he said.
This comes as Kenya prepares to do away with the 8-4-4 education system and adopt the proposed 2-6-3-3-3.