More than 21,000 students who qualified for higher education last year will not be admitted to Kenya's public universities. They have been officially advised to enter private universities.
The universities' joint admissions board selected 8,370 students from 30,243 who had the grades to enter university next year.
The restricted admission to universities will create stiff competition for higher education. Last year, 169,000 candidates sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, and only about 5 per cent have now been selected to enter public universities. The low admissions to public universities are linked to the projected reduction of civil service workers, including lecturers and teachers.
Under World Bank pressure, universities are being encouraged to revert to the missions they followed before expanding to admit less able students on ethnic lines.