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EA Universities Guide

Stiff competition for top careers

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University of Nairobi electrical engineering students Pascal Katana (left) and Jeremiah Murimi display a mobile phone charger powered by a bicycle, which they invented. PHOTO | STEPHEN MUDIARI 

By OUMA WANZALA

Posted  Thursday, April 14   2016 at  09:00

In Summary

  • One-third of university applicants missed their first choice of study course.
  • According to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) chief executive officer John Muraguri, some courses, such as medicine and architecture, are popular because they are considered prestigious and, therefore, the competition for admission to study them is usually cutthroat.
  • Education experts say there is a need to change students’ attitude towards arts subjects.

Kenyan students’ demand for courses that are considered prestigious continues to grow despite the limited slots set aside by the 32 public universities.

In September, 67,790 first-year students reported in public universities for the 2015/2016 academic year.

One-third of university applicants missed their first choice of study course.

According to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) chief executive officer John Muraguri, some courses, such as medicine and architecture, are popular because they are considered prestigious and, therefore, the competition for admission to study them is usually cutthroat.

The majority of the 2014 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination candidates desired to study architectural studies, actuarial science, computer science, civil engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, dental surgery, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, medicine and surgery and law.

But only 3,362 students were admitted to study these courses. The available slots for these courses were 3,194 this academic year and the capacities were filled in the first revision of courses that was done in May this year.

Statistics from KUCCPS, a statutory body tasked with placement of students in universities and colleges, indicate that only 28 students will be taking dental surgery in the whole country.

The available capacity for training in dental surgery in two public universities — University of Nairobi and Moi University — is 18 and 10 respectively.

Another 131 students will take pharmacy in four public universities — University of Nairobi, Maseno University, Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and technology — which have 133 slots.

Those admitted for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery are 320.

The University of Nairobi which had the capacity of 110, was allocated the highest number of students — 120.

A total of 101 students will study veterinary medicine, with University of Nairobi admitting 84, and Egerton University 17.

A total of 108 students were selected to study architecture in three universities: University of Nairobi, Technical University of Kenya (TUK) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT). University of Nairobi admitted 38 students, TUK 37 while JKUAT has admitted 33.

About 35 students have been admitted at JKUAT to study landscape architecture and which had the capacity of 35.

A total of 698 students were selected to study actuarial science, with Jaramogi Oginga University admitting the highest number at 115. Another 606 will study computer science while 329 will take civil engineering in eight public universities. At the University of Nairobi, 32 students have been selected to study geospatial engineering.

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