Candidates who took the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination and those who did not secure government sponsorship now can apply for placement in universities and colleges, as the application portal is scheduled to open.

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) has indicated that its course application portal will be accessible next week, Business Day Africa has reliably established.

Apart from the 2023 KCSE candidates, the portal’s opening extends the opportunity to individuals who sat for their KCSE exams between 2020 and 2022 but did not benefit from government sponsorship for placement in Diploma, Craft Certificate, and Artisan courses.

This marks the second placement by KUCCPS under the new Higher Education Funding (HEF) model, unveiled by President William Ruto in May of the previous year.

The HEF model, initiated in the fiscal year beginning July 2023, requires universities and colleges to declare the programs they intend to offer, along with the associated costs and available slots before the placement cycle.

Under this model, institutions’ declared slots are regulated by the Commission for University Education (CUE), which considers the available facilities to determine student accommodation capacity.

Institutions may modify their programme offerings based on demand, either dropping courses with low attraction or introducing additional offerings.

By disclosing the actual programmes costs, it is anticipated that students and their guardians will be able to make informed decisions about the available courses and plan accordingly.

In the initial placement cycle under the HEF model, KUCCPS data reveals that various institutions declared a total of 792,247 capacities.

Public universities declared the highest number of vacancies at 200,621, followed by TVETs at 478,308, and private universities at 52,312.

The data further shows that out of the 870,561 candidates who received the 2022 KCSE results, 323,110 students were placed across all offered programmes.

An analysis of the data indicates that these students were distributed across all programmes, with 141,250 placed in Degree courses in universities (including the Open University of Kenya) and 181,860 placed in TVET and other programmes.

The implementation of the new funding framework commenced at the beginning of the current financial year, shifting from block funding for institutions to individualised funding based on students’ levels of need.