Agnes Wahome, the Chief Executive of the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), recently disclosed that a student from Pangani Girls High School found herself enrolled in a diploma program at a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution due to her course selections.
This student, who achieved an A- in the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, expressed frustration as her chosen course options were at prominent universities, aligning with her strong science focus and a cluster score of 40 points.
Her primary ambition was to study Dentistry, making it her first and second preference. Additionally, she opted for Medicine as her third choice and included Nursing at the University of Nairobi among her top four selections.
However, upon reviewing the placement results, the student was unexpectedly assigned to the Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology for a diploma program in Nutrition.
“I was shocked because I had been called to Kiambu Institute to pursue a diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, and I had gotten an A- and hoped to go to a nice university with a good course.” lamented.
Wahome pointed out that while the student qualified for certain course titles based on her impressive grades, the universities she aimed to attend had higher stringent cut-off points.
For instance, the Dentistry program had a limited capacity of only 50 slots, and due to its high demand, it could accommodate solely those students who achieved straight A grades. Similarly, the field of Medicine, her third preference, was exceedingly competitive, requiring an even higher cut-off threshold.
As for her fourth choice, Nursing, which could have been pursued at an alternate university, a cut-off score of 43 was necessary at the University of Nairobi (UoN), her final option.
“The student opted for Dentistry with an A- grade, but unfortunately, we can only accommodate less than 50 students in that program. Those who were placed in the Dentistry program achieved straight A grades with a cluster weight of 43, whereas this student’s cluster score was 40,” clarified Wahome.
“Clearly, with the combination of selecting Dentistry at two institutions, listing Medicine as her third choice, and including Nursing at UoN as her fourth preference, it was practically unfeasible for her to secure admission into all these programs. Her subsequent choices were for diploma programs. She initially chose Nutrition at Kiambu Institute, which automatically directed her there.” Stated Wahome
Wahome also emphasized that KUCCPS prioritizes students’ first choices. If a student misses the opportunity for their first choice, the system considers the second choice and, subsequently, the fourth choice.