How new varsity placement system works


Graduands during a past graduation ceremony at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). FILE PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

The State has announced a new funding model for universities and colleges that has brought with it a change in how the selection of courses and placement of students by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) is done.

When was the KUCCPs portal opened and for who?

The portal opened on May 17 and will be accessible till June 7, 2023, for the first round of applications.

It allows the placing of students that sat the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in universities and colleges so they can start their programmes in September 2023.

What changes have been introduced with the unveiling of a new funding model for tertiary education?

President William Ruto announced the new funding model that will phase out the uniform awarding of grants to universities and colleges based on a Differentiated Unit Cost.

The new framework is student-centred and compels the institutions to declare and publicise on the KUCCPS platform the actual cost of their programmes.

This is intended to allow parents, guardians and students an opportunity to find courses that suit them and compare the cost as offered by the various institutions.

It is envisioned that this will allow the public to make informed choices about the programmes posted on the platform.

Further, it allows the government to account for all those that sat the KCSE in a particular year to tell on the transition rates from secondary to tertiary education; how many went abroad, how many enrolled for degrees, diplomas and so on.

Why are parents and guardians discouraged from delegating the application process to cyber attendants?

Applications for KUCCPS placement can be done remotely on a laptop or desktop computer provided one has access to the internet.

Over the recent past, some parents have used cyber cafes to do applications and even gone ahead and allowed the employees at the shops to handle the application process on their behalf.

This came with its risks since private data was shared with strangers. To avert this risk, parents and students are urged to take their time assessing the costs of the programmes posted on the KUCCPS portal and use Huduma Centres when in need of assistance.

Notably, the centre applications are being scrapped. These were done in schools before candidates sat their KCSE. KUCCPS reckons it cannot continue with the trend now that the programme costs are published on a public portal.

What follows after applying?

KUCCPS will open the platform two other times to allow for reviews and as a mop-up exercise.

The KUCCPS system will assess an applicant’s performance and match it out with a particular cluster group before a decision is made.

Once the students are placed, they will receive text messages on the results and they will also be able to see the same from the portal.

Then they will go for admission to the institutions and it is at that point that they will get instructions from the admission letters on how to apply for government funds; loans and scholarships.

Who qualifies for government placement?

In this current cycle, only those that sat the KCSE in 2022. Those that scored C+ and above qualify to apply for degree courses in both public and private universities.

Those that scored a C-(minus) can apply for diploma courses while those that managed a D can apply for a craft certificate.

The portal allows those that scored D- and below to qualify for placement for an artisan certificate.

Making it to the final placement list means that you are eligible for government support through scholarships, loans and bursaries.

Under the model, government-sponsored students (GSSs) will be supported by up to 82 percent in tuition scholarships and through loans at 20 percent depending on their level of feed.

The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) will apportion loans GSSs based on their levels of need classified into four; vulnerable, extremely needy, needy and less needy.

Can universities and colleges manipulate their capacities to attract more students?

Declared slots by the institutions are controlled by the Commission for University Education (CUE) and are submitted to KUCCPS.

The CUE considers the facilities available in the institutions to determine how many students can be accommodated there. This means the institutions cannot arbitrarily adjust their capacities to suit their needs.

What is the overall result of the reforms?

It is anticipated that reforms in placement will register growth in the education sector.

The first cohort of competency-based curriculum (CBC) learners are expected in universities in 2029 at a time when the government intends to be in top gear as regards offering relevant skills as opposed to just theory.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.