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Issues and challenges of access and management of admission of students to tertiary institutions in Kenya
The Kenyan Government has in the recent past introduced robust activities to increase openings for post school education and training. Based on the 2018 KCSE results, of the 651,189 high school leavers, 90,744 attained a mean grade of C+ and above and were qualified to join local universities, 121,288 who scored between C plain and C– in the 2018 KCSE examination are all eligible for diploma courses and the rest would join certificate and artisan courses. The purpose of the study was to examine the prospects of high school leavers, their parents and colleges, and to identify the factors influencing their preferences in selecting particular courses at universities and colleges. This ex post facto study gathered responses from the year 2016 to 2018 KCSE school leavers and their guardians, from 10 randomly samples schools in Nairobi which is the cosmopolitan capital city of Kenya. This resulted to 350 university/college students, 350 guardians of prospective students, and 100 university/college representatives being sampled. Two techniques, single mail-out with follow-up reminder letter and an administrator-assisted survey were applied to the distributed 800 questionnaires, out of 395 were responded to, a response rate of 49.38 percent. Expending the theory of planned behavior as a guide, respondents discussed the opportunities and challenges to the choices they made for courses. A qualitative analysis was conducted using a codebook to analyze the responses from the questionnaires and interview schedules. Higher education is perceived to be key to access to jobs which pay good salaries, confer social status and prestige, and provide avenues for social mobility. The Kenyan government is using higher education to improve on potential of poor communities, thus bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. Nonetheless, the increased public demand for tertiary education is abridged by inadequate opportunities, by having many programmes that do not impact on the positive economic outcomes. In conclusion, the interest of the school leavers are overridden by external interests, hence affecting morale and productivity of graduates. The study recommends that there be more strengthened career choice sensitization at school level, and expansion of courses that have impact on the development of the country.
|20190080_2019 IAEA Paper for Joseph Githinji April 2019.pdf||Download|