Ease university entry process for students

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 09:30 | By
Mercy Wahome the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS). PHOTO/X (@KUCCPS_Official)

It is yet another time that young Kenyans who completed their secondary school education have been given the opportunity to choose their preferred courses in university.

While the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) has extended the deadline for the students to submit in their applications from February 22 by four more days, the government needs to up the game to ensure that this year’s placements and subsequent admissions are not mired in confusion like last year.

Like previous years, the 2024 placement appeared to have began on a sour note with thousands of the students seeking placement in tertiary institutions expressing frustrations after the KUCCPS portal collapsed.

System failure has been an issue of great concern every year that the authorities seem unable to address.

Besides the perennial systems collapse, thousands of students have on several occasions found themselves either being selected to join colleges not of their preference or being forced to take courses they do not like, due to lack of information and some technicalities.

 There have also been cases where some universities have been accused of changing goal posts on course cut-off points in the eleventh minute getting students off-guard. 

But above all, as KUCPPS works on the placements and selection exercises, there needs to be some synergy between the various education players. These include the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), University Funds Board, public universities and the Ministry of Education.

The new university funding model introduced last has had its fair of challenges as a result of poor planning and coordination. One of the challenges was the complexity on how students were to apply for loans and scholarships.

But even after successfully applying for the funds, the government took more than three months before releasing the money, leaving students and university management suffering.

Several universities were almost pushed to the brink and several students from poor backgrounds forced to go hungry as the government kept renewing promises that it never kept.

The government is also yet to clearly state the criterion used to allocate loans and scholarships to students after in the new funding model.

Authorities need to streamline the entire process placement and admissions to public universities.

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