Students who took the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) in 2022 will be able to apply for a variety of undergraduate courses provided by Kenyan universities.
According to the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), students with a C+ or above would choose courses based on cluster points.
Cluster points are calculated by comparing a KCSE examination student’s performance in four subjects required for admission to a given degree program to the best applicants in that KCSE exam year.
In total, KUCCPS has listed 560 undergraduate degree programs classified into 20 clusters.
One of the media outlets interviewed Apollo Osango, a Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) examiner, about how clusters are listed.
“Previously, cluster groups were chosen by available career prospects, but now they are determined by the amount of slots available in institutions relative to the number of students applying,” he explained.
According to the KUCCPS portal, the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) is the most applied course in Cluster 1.
“Law is the most sought-after course in Kenya, and because most colleges offering it can handle a large number of students, it becomes the most applied course,” Osango added.
After Law, most students apply for Business, Hospitality and related courses according to the KUCCPS portal.
Currently, there are 64 different undergraduate programs under the category indicating why it is very popular amongst students.
In Cluster 3, KUCCPS lists Social Sciences, Media Studies, Fine Arts, Film, Animations, Graphics and related courses.
Osango told the media that the category is popular for two reasons: first, the cluster points required are normally low, so many students apply for them, and second, vacancies are frequently available in institutions that offer those courses, as they are in law.
KUCCPS lists geosciences and related courses in Cluster 4, which includes sixteen undergraduate programs.
Cluster 5 includes engineering, engineering technology, and related courses.
“Ideally, you would expect more students to apply for engineering courses compared to geosciences but that is not the case.
“Fewer institutions offer those courses and the slots per class are also fewer because the course demands more in terms of infrastructure,” Osango explains.
In Cluster 6, KUCCPS lists Architecture, Building Construction and related courses.
KUCCPS in an earlier statement announced medicine and health-related courses were in demand but on the website, it is in Cluster 13.
“What KUCCPS meant in terms of demand is that very few slots are available for students to apply.
“For example, a university can accommodate over 300 students taking LL.B. because all is needed is space and lecturers but for medicine, you need science labs which are expensive leading to lower class size,” he explains.
On what makes a course popular during the application process, he explains, “KUCCPS automatically locks you out from selecting certain courses if you do not meet the required points making you go for a second alternative”
“If a student wants to apply for Medicine but is locked out because of cluster points, chances are he will go for Law pushing it up higher in popularity scale,” he adds.
The other clusters in order of popularity are: Computing and Information Technology; Agribusiness; Actuarial Science, Accountancy, Mathematics, Economics and Statistics; Interior and Fashion Design; Sports Science; History and Archaeology; Agriculture; Geography; French and German; Music; Education and Religious Studies.