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Top KCSE performers likely to miss popular courses

The entry points for popular courses in the public universities are likely to be raised after many candidates scored high grades in the just-released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.

Some 3,073 candidates scored straight As in the exam, up from 2,722 in 2013, and will be competing for the few places available in the top professional courses. The total number of those who scored A and A– was 14,841, compared to 12,481 the previous year.

Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services CEO John Muraguri on Friday said that he expected an increase in the number of students seeking to pursue competitive courses such as medicine, architecture, law, actuarial science, information technology and commerce.

Since such courses only admit few students, the requirements for the subject clusters will have to go up.

For example, admission to medicine requires an aggregate of 47 points in maths and three sciences, meaning an average of three As and one A-, besides strong grades in English and Kiswahili. But this may be raised to 48 points, which is the highest – four straight As.

MINIMUM ENTRY QUALIFICATION

Out of the 450,000 students, who sat last year’s KCSE exam, 149,717 attained the minimum university entry qualification of C+, compared to 123,365 in 2013.

Those who scored B– and above were 102,289, which is more than the number the universities can admit. Grade B and above had 63,974 candidates.

On average, just a third of qualifiers get admission through the placement board, which replaced the Joint Admissions Board.

Mr Muraguri said the placement board would start the selection in May and students are expected to join the universities in September.

As has been the practice, the students will be given a chance to revise their course selections depending on how they performed, details of which will be made available through the media and the board’s website.

In the meantime, the universities are expected to furnish the placement board with the vacancies they have for all the courses, by April 15.