Higher Education stakeholder’s validation forum
PS Amb. Simon Nabukwesi opens Higher Education stakeholder’s forum at Kenyatta University
Principal Secretary Amb. Simon Nabukwesi was the Chief guest during a meeting for Higher Education Stakeholder’s validation report on reviewed degree criteria for placement of government-sponsored students to universities. The validation forum organized by Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) at Kenyatta University auditorium brought together Vice Chancellors, Academic Registrars and Professional bodies which looked into harmonizing the different requirements given by Commission for University Education (CUE) and professional bodies which most times causes a clash.
The current placement of Government sponsored student’s criteria were last reviewed in 2017. This year’s review was informed by complaints from students and other education stakeholders. The report, which has 20 reviewed clusters, will guide the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) in the next placement from students joining university and tertiary institutions. In 2019, KUCCPS requested universities, professional and regulatory bodies to submit their views on the minimum requirements for courses as part of the review process. The validation of the document paved the way for its transmission to Universities’ Senates for adoption to inform admission requirements.
While opening the forum to consider the report, Principal Secretary for University Education and Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi stated that there was need to relook into the degree placement criteria so as to encompass the changes in universities.
“Every criteria needs to be reviewed based on the changing dynamics and circumstances of life. There are new courses introduced and high numbers of students joining universities. There is need to relook so as to provide equity in degree placement for students,” said Nabukwesi. He urged KUCCPS to move forward and consider filling up the available spaces in public universities first, going by the students’ choice.
“I urge all of you to consider the new Degree Placement Criteria Document and Report, and adopt it to enable KUCCPS to conclude the process. I can assure you of the Ministry of Education’s support towards the success of this process,” Nabukwesi stated
Amb. Nabukwesi called for the need to relook at qualification criteria so that we provide for access, equity and opportunity for everybody. “We are looking at sensitization of students so that they make choices based on talents and capacities” said the PS. He proposed to make it compulsory for schools to issue career booklets and sensitize children to know what exists in career development for informed choices. This he said will guide students while choosing university courses before sitting their KCSE exams so that they don’t pursue careers that did not match their passions for lack of proper guidance. He also added tht teachers should play a role to identify a talent in students and guide them in choosing university courses while in school and a career line that best suits them to serve humanity.
KUCCPS Chief Executive Director (CEO) Dr. Mercy Wahome said changes made are not drastic but are based on the introduction of new courses and addressing the unbalanced situation that exists when it comes to the minimum requirement for certain subjects.
“We have had universities making recommendation it terms of the minimum requirements. We have collected all of the submission and compiled it in a report.
Once the respective universities senate adopt the report then the reviewed criteria will be used for the 2020 September class,” said Dr. Wahome.
“When we have had issues of Commission for University Education and Professional bodies giving two different recommendations on subject requirement. This is an opportunity for them to come up and actually agree. We have had issues of discrepancies in the subject requirement of the Form 4 which if not looked at will cause a probl em,” Dr. Wahome said.
Dr. Wahome added that the changes will ensure equitable, fair and effective placement for all those who qualify to join universities. For Medicine, Surgery and Dental Surgery as well as Engineering and Architecture and Architectural studies respectively, proposals are that the minimum subject requirements be maintained and still remain regulated programmes.
There are also proposals to introduce English or Kiswahili capped at C (Plain) in Computer Science, Computer Technology as well as Mathematics and Computer Science.
In the new changes, programmes who minimum requirements have been reviewed include agricultural-based courses. In the new proposals the requirement for Biology and Chemistry has been reduced to C Plain for both subjects. Under 2017 guidelines, students were required to have a C Plus in both subjects. The new proposals have also introduced an Agriculture (C+) as an alternative to the C plain in Biology. Mathematics will no longer be a key requirement for students seeking to pursue a degree in teaching. This will also apply for students who want to teach other subjects in secondary school that are not related to Mathematics.
The direction being taken is emphasizing on competencies. Subjects like Agriculture where students have taken it for four years doesn’t reflect in the tail end. Therefore, the subject will be considered during the admission to the university.
The new rules will take effect in the next university and college admissions for students, who will sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in March 2022.