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Colleges might be allowed to admit students directly

news Sunday, April 1 2018 By Ouma Wanzala
Colleges that were established under individual Acts of Parliament will select and admit students directly if a government-backed bill that takes the role away from a single agency becomes law.

The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment) No 2 Bill 2017 by Majority Leader Aden Duale strips the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) of the mandate to admit students and places them in such colleges.

The development will be a major score for colleges such as the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC), which has been involved in a legal battle with KUCCPS since 2016 over the placement of students.

Most of these colleges are owned by ministries or government departments.

The colleges have been fighting to remain independent from KUCCPS, which has been taking millions of shillings they get as application fees from students, with some colleges demanding application fees of as much as Sh2,000.

"For avoidance of doubt, this Act shall not apply to institutions established under statutes other than the Education Act," the bill says.

In 2015, the government sponsored a bill that sought to allow public universities and colleges to select and admit students directly.

However, the Universities (Amendment) Bill 2015 was unsuccessful.

KUCCPS was to be reduced to developing career guidance programmes for universities and students.

The Universities Act established the KUCCPS, which includes two vice-chancellors, one from a private and another from a public university.

It replaced the Joint Admissions Board (JAB) – whose mandate was to select students joining public universities – on February 2014.

The agency is tasked with coordinating and placing students in public universities and colleges and ensuring fairness, equity and openness.

KUCCPS is also responsible for placing students in private universities.

There are a total of 99 registered public technical and vocational education training (TVET) institutions, of which 65 are old while 34 were registered recently.

The 65 old institutions comprise 10 national polytechnics, one technical teacher training college, four special needs institution, nine institutes of technology and 41 technical training institutes.

The total enrolment of the 65 old institutions at the end of 2017 was 97,877 students while that of 34 new institutions stood at 500.

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