The current trends have seen majority of high school students who have completed their secondary education and scored C+and above opt for mid level colleges over university courses.
In the recently released data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS), Some 15,547 candidates who scored C+ and above in the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination snubbed universities while some opted for diploma and certificate courses like plumbing in technical institutions.
Data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) shows 10,707 candidates did not apply for degree courses despite meeting the minimum qualifications.
Another 4,840 preferred Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to pursue courses in an employment market where university graduates are struggling to get jobs. Business Daily has reported.
The 15,547 candidates only accounted for 10.8 percent of the 143,140 students who qualified to join universities.
The growing number of students snubbing university education is a paradigm from the past when degrees were viewed by many as a ticket for promotion at the workplace and getting a job in the first place, pushing the enrolment numbers to record high in recent years.
With the current trend, one would ask why are students shying away from university courses?
What is ailing Kenyan Universities?
It is an open secret that the majority of university courses have failed to produce competent graduates in the market place.
Majority of university graduates are half baked while some seem to have completely missed even to attain the basic fundamental skills in their field of training. This has been proven by their inability to leave up to the expectations of employers in the job market.
It is common to hear many employers complain how fresh graduates from our universities lack competencies at the place of work.
A majority of companies are forced to retrain these graduates to align them to the employers expectations thus resulting in heavy expenses on the side of employer. However, a number of them who find the graduates unemployable resort to hiring diploma holders from college who seem to be more competent at work place.
Many have explained that university graduates are a reflection of their lecturers and the true status of our higher learning institutions.
A majority of lecturers in our universities lack skills and knowledge that can be passed on to students and thus garbage in garbage out.
Most of the university lecturers have gone through the same learning institutions and attain higher learning. While they attain higher grades and qualifications, they totally lack hands on experience.
Take for instance, an engineering student after attaining a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering graduates with the hope of getting employment opportunities.
With the ever shrinking job market in the country, the engineer fails to secure an employment opportunity and to increase his chances of securing a job, he goes back to the university and attains a masters degree.
To their surprise, the job market still proves hostile to the fellow and because he has papers, he secures a teaching job at a local university.
To raise his worthiness and gain promotion, he enrolls for a PhD program and attains the highest level of education ever. He comes back and demands a huge salary thanks to his high level of academic attainment.
Such a fellow has no experience in his field of work and his career progression is only pegged on papers. With no field experience, such a lecturer can never produce Engineering students that are ready for the market. You cannot give what you do not have.
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A part from the skills that most university graduates seem to lack, degree holders tend to demand more when it comes to salary negotiation than their Diploma counterparts. This gives an easy option for employers to gain more while at the same time spend less when they hire a diploma holder.
A majority of mid level colleges have well set infrastructure that exposes trainees to what they should expect in their real working environment. With these emphasis on the hands on activities, it is no secret that colleges will continue to thrive and produce competent trainess than most universities.
With the current situation, a lot needs to be done to regain the lost glory of our universities.
Any country with a broken education system faces unprecedented future.
With advancement in every aspect of our lives, learning institutions need to be equipped enough to address and meet the demands of the current and future generations