State turns away 40,000 Kenyans

April 29, 2005

Nearly 40,000 qualified students will miss entry to public institutions in Kenya, according to the universities' joint admissions board, forcing them to seek higher education in local private and foreign universities.

The board says that 10,250 of the 49,700 students who scored enough points for university entry have been selected to study for degrees offered in the six public universities. It has advised students not selected to apply to university elsewhere.

Spokesman Ben Waweru said the admissions were pegged to the six public universities' accommodation and lecture space. However, Mr Waweru said that 2,000 of the 10,250 students selected for the public universities would have to revise their applications or risk losing their places.

"They failed to qualify for the courses they had applied for and will have to choose other programmes," he said.

Universities offering medicine, law and engineering degrees were not able to admit all the students. "Those students will have to choose new courses if they want to retain their places in public universities," Mr Waweru added.

Admissions to specific degrees depend on a university's capacity to offer a course. The board suspended plans by Kenyatta University to offer degrees in medicine because it said it had no capacity to offer them.

As a result of the high number of qualified applicants and the demand for doctors and nurses in the country, the University of Nairobi and Moi University, which have established faculties of medicine, were urged to admit a slightly higher number of students than their quota of 110 students a year.

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