There has been a proliferation of universities in Kenya in the past few years. This has been occasioned by the rapid increase in the number of form four graduates. Additionally, the job market in Kenya today is very competitive and demands that one has at least a University degree. It is therefore easy to see why tertiary education in the country has been on in the rise.
The country today boasts of about thirty universities. The universities are divided into public and private universities. The public universities are; University of Nairobi (UON), Kenyatta, Moi, Egerton, JKUAT, Masinde Muliro, and Maseno. The private universities are quite many. However, the major private universities are USIU, Daystar, Africa Nazarene, Catholic University, Strathmore, Kabarak, Baraton and MKU.
Admission to public universities’ regular program is done by the Joint Admissions Board (JAB). Every year; JAB meets and sets the cut-off point for admission. The cut-off point is usually determined by the bed capacity of each University and the performance of the candidates in the KCSE exams. After one has met the minimum cut-off points, a weighted cluster point is used to determine the course that one will study.
The weighted cluster point is a derivative of the overall aggregate points and the raw cluster points. The maximum number of points that one can score in KCSE is 84 points whereas the maximum raw cluster points is 48.The raw cluster points are determined by the four subjects that are most relevant to the course of study. For instance, if you want to study medicine, the raw cluster points would be composed of Biology, Chemistry, Math/Physics and English/Kiswahili. Sometimes, the competition may be quite high and the individual marks may be looked at.
However, there are some students that are admitted through the self-sponsored program/parallel program. Such students need a minimum of a C+. They can go for a bridging/diploma course if they did not attain a C+ in KCSE.
Admission to private Universities is done by the individual Universities’ admission committee. You will therefore have to apply to a particular private University.
The fee for regular students is subsidized by the government. They will thus need between Kshs.30, 000 and kshs.55, 000 per academic year. However, the fee for self-sponsored students is not subsidized. Many self-students will pay a fee ranging from Kshs.70, 000 (for arts courses) to Kshs.600, 000 (for medicine course) depending on the course. The tuition fee charged by the private Universities varies but is comparable to the fees charged by the self-sponsored students in private Universities. Nowadays, one can get a loan from the Higher education loans board to pursue their course, regardless of the type of University they are enrolled in.
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