Only 145,145 candidates who sat the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam got university entry marks, based on the results announced by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Saturday, April 23.

The candidates scored C+ in the transition exam, with nearly 700,000 students missing the mark. However, students who scored D and above still have a second chance at higher education with certificate and diploma courses.

Through the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme, students who scored C and C minus qualify to enrol for diploma courses in either of the 31 institutions across the country.

On the other hand, the 495,686 candidates who scored D+ and below can sign up for certificate programmes – craft certificate courses for those with D and above and artisan certificates for those who scored D plus and below.

“The number of candidates with a minimum TVET Diploma courses qualification of grade C- and above in 2021 was 325,896 (39.27%). We, therefore, need to invest more in TVET institutions where the bulk of our KCSE Examination graduands will study,” stated Prof Magoha while announcing KCSE 2021 results.

Notably, students who scored below C+ can also apply for college and TVET institution placement under the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).

Students who get selected to the colleges and tertiary institutions are eligible for government sponsorship through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).

Ahead of the placement into universities which are based on cluster points per subject, candidates can wave their fortunes in their favour by enrolling for bridging courses in subjects required to join particular courses.

The education system in the country allows for students who score as low as D minus to become degree holders and even advance to Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) levels.

Once a student completes their certificate education, they are legible to enrol for a diploma course. In Kenya, a diploma course takes between 2 to 3 years depending on the discipline and the institution.

Upon graduating with top performance, the student can enrol for a degree course in a university and pursue their dream courses.

The Ministry of Education is set to open the university course application process. Notably, the 2021 KCSE top candidate Jariel Obura who wishes to pursue a degree in Medicine hopes that he will be called to Maseno University.