Ugandan Higher Education Officials Seek to Learn from Kenya’s Central Student Placement System

NAIROBI, October 31, 2016

Officials of the Ugandan National Council for Higher Education on Monday, October 31, 2016 visited the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service for benchmarking. The officials, who are in Kenya on a week-long higher education benchmarking mission, sought to draw lessons on how to create and run a central student placement system.

During a meeting with Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri at the Placement Service offices, members of the delegation explained that they intended to study the Kenyan placement system so as to borrow good practices for possible implementation in Uganda.

Mr. Muraguri welcomed the visitors, who were accompanied by two officials from Kenya’s Commission for University Education, and gave a background of the Placement Service. He also explained the placement process, procedure and policy. 

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service has developed an award winning online system through which students from across the country are able to view available Degree and Diploma programmes and their entry requirements and submit their applications for Government sponsorship.

The system ensures that government-sponsored students are selected to join universities and colleges based on common criteria that consider merit, students’ priorities and affirmative action for gender, marginalised groups and the disabled.

The Kenyan system has been attracting interest internationally. In October, a team from the National Commission for Higher Education (NCHE), Malawi visited the Placement Service on a similar benchmarking mission.

Colleges and Institutes Canada

In the same month, Colleges and Institutes Canada, a Canadian voluntary membership organisation for public colleges, institutes and polytechnics, expressed interest in working with the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service to improve higher education and training in Kenya.

The association is already collaborating with Kenya’s Ministry of Education in a programme dubbed Education for Employment, which focuses on improving curriculum for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) so as to increase enrolment in TVET institutions. The collaboration will involve linking Canadian and Kenyan colleges, curriculum development and training of tutors, according to Mr. Moritz Schmidt from Colleges and Institutes Canada, who paid a courtesy call on the Placement Service Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri on October 26, 2016. One of its goals is to address the challenge in enrolment and change the negative perceptions about technical and vocational training, he added.

Mr. Schmidt expressed a desire for his organisation to collaborate with the Placement Service and other Kenyan education agencies to improve training in the country, a suggestion that Mr. Muraguri welcomed. They agreed to explore the possibility of cooperation in future.