UNIVERSITIES and Colleges will now be required to advertise prioritised academic courses as directed by the government before they admit students on merit, according to the new placement guidelines and policy.
The guidelines were put to stakeholders yesterday by the new Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service which has replaced the Joint Admissions Board. The guidelines come in place ahead of the September admission of students to universities and colleges. The placement exercise should be complete by the end of July.
The Universities Act 2012 paved way for the establishment of a single placement service for students from public and private universities.
"The institutions registered with the placement service shall also declare capacities available in their respective institutions in the areas published as prioritised by the government and indicate the capacity available for government sponsored students," the guidelines state.
Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi attended the meeting at the Bomas of Kenya. He said universities and colleges need to know their priority courses. "You will be required to market priority courses that have few students," Kaimenyi said.
The placement acting CEO John Muraguri said immediate KCSE applicants will be the beneficiaries during placement, where actual cutoff points for degrees and diplomas would be determined by available capacities of the programmes in an institution.
Muraguri said the minimum admission requirement for degree programmes will be C+, while the overall KCSE cutoff point for degree programmes would be determined by the total capacity from universities. Applicants with C+ and above, will make a maximum of eight choices of degree and diploma programmes in universities and colleges.
The guidelines said applicants with C- and above will make a maximum of six choices for diploma programmes. The first three choices must be from similar programmes for either of the two options.
Applicants who are not placed in their preferred programmes or institutions in the first instance may be requested to apply for placement into programmes or institutions which may not have attracted the adequate number of applicants. Stakeholders have however protested saying this move would be equivalent to 'dumping.'
Muraguri said " Students can be allowed to transfer to their preferred institution or programme later." In place is also an affirmative action based on gender, where two points will be lowered from the overall cut-off point for degree programmes for female applicants.
Specific programmes would also have their cut-off points lowered by to two points subject to attaining a representation of a third for either gender and not exceeding declared capacity by 10 per cent of a articular course.