The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) clarified the reasons behind Kisii University having the most students from the 2022 KCSE candidates in their placement cycle ranking.
The matter had sparked controversy due to the high enrollment figures for the university in the 2022 KCSE candidates’ placement cycle ranking. KUCCPS CEO Agnes Wahome provided insights into the reasons for this phenomenon and shed light on the factors that contributed to this trend.
In accordance with data released by the Ministry of Education, a staggering 285,167 candidates secured slots in degree, diploma, and arts courses out of the pool of 870,561 eligible candidates.
Among the institutions, Kisii University emerged as the most preferred choice, with an impressive enrollment of 8,632 students. Following closely were renowned institutions like Kenyatta University (7,963), Maseno University (7,702), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (6,917), and University of Nairobi (6,912).
Agnes Wahome, the CEO of KUCCPS, offered valuable insights into the situation during an interview with a media team on August 8th.
She revealed that Kisii University boasted a diverse range of programs tailored for students who had scored a minimum of C+ and above in their KCSE exams. Moreover, the university was able to offer these programs at affordable rates compared to its counterparts.
This affordability factor played a pivotal role in influencing the preferences of the students.
Wahome highlighted that students’ choices were primarily guided by two factors: the minimum entry requirements for courses and the associated costs.
She illustrated this with an example of a student having the option to choose between an engineering course offered by a university in Taita Taveta and another in Nairobi.
Unsurprisingly, the Nairobi-based university would receive more applications due to its location, but in this specific instance, students paid close attention to the cut-off points to secure their placements.
To further emphasize the affordability of Kisii University, a quick visit to the KUCCPS website revealed a comparison of costs.
For a Bachelor of Arts degree, Kisii University stood out as the most budget-friendly option, charging an annual fee of Ksh122,485. In contrast, Kenyatta University charged Ksh183,600, University of Nairobi Ksh160,653, Moi University Ksh153,000, and Egerton University Ksh148,500.
For specific courses like a law degree, Kisii University’s fees were also competitive, with students paying Ksh225,335, compared to Ksh221,850 at University of Nairobi, Ksh214,700 at Egerton University, and Ksh183,600 at Kenyatta University.
Similarly, Kisii University offered a cost-effective option for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, charging Ksh206,635. This stood in contrast to JKUAT (Ksh183,600), University of Nairobi (Ksh220,150), and Kenyatta University (Ksh183,600).
The 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results reflected the region’s commendable performance.
Several schools in the area secured positions in the top 100 nationally, showcasing the dedication to education.
Nyambaria High School garnered attention by achieving 28 A plains and successfully transitioning all 488 students to higher education. The school’s mean grade also witnessed a remarkable improvement, rising from 9.30 in 2021 to 10.897.
Mobamba High School achieved a similarly outstanding performance, with 348 candidates progressing to university.
The school’s mean grade jumped from 5.11 in 2021 to an impressive 9.28 in the 2022 exams. Kuura Secondary School demonstrated substantial growth as well, elevating its mean score from 5.37 in 2021 to 9.11 in 2022. Other schools, including St. Pauls Igonga and Cardinal Otunga Secondary School, significantly improved their mean grades from 6.2 to 10.26 and 7.44 to 10.76, respectively.
Despite the notable achievements, the region did not secure a candidate in the top 10 nationally.
This raised questions about the credibility of exam results, as some schools that historically maintained average performance suddenly exhibited an unusually high number of candidates with A grades.
The Senate Education Committee took note of these concerns and initiated investigations to understand the sudden surge in high grades.
Led by Murang’a Senator Joe Nyutu, the committee delved into the matter to uncover any potential exam malpractices during the 2022 KCSE Exams.
Responding to queries from the public and media, Nyutu urged patience while the truth was being sought.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu appeared before the Committee on April 13, 2023, to address these allegations.
He dismissed the claims, asserting that Kisii and Nyamira counties had the fewest Grade As in the Nyanza region.
He presented data indicating that Siaya County led with 72 Grade As, followed by Homa Bay and Migori with 62 and Kisumu with 59, thus refuting any undue concentration of high grades in Kisii.