The 19th Nairobi International Education Fair at Sarit Expo Centre

NAIROBI, March 9, 2017

Are you a student or a school leaver and in need of guidance on careers and course selection? Visit the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service stand at the ongoing 19th Nairobi International Education Fair, which is taking place at the Sarit Expo Centre in Westlands, Nairobi.

The fair, which ends on March 12, 2017, provides a one-stop forum for students and parents to interact with local and international colleges and universities and other providers of higher education training opportunities.

The Placement Service is present at the event to provide information on careers, subject choice and placement of Government-sponsored students in degree and diploma courses.

It is among the main sponsors of the 19th edition of the annual exhibition, which is organised by Express Communications Ltd.

Universities Urged to Adopt Paradigm Shift to Cope with Reforms in Education Sector

During the official opening of the fair, Placement Service Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri urged universities to adopt a paradigm shift to adapt to the ongoing reforms in the education sector.

Mr. Muraguri, who was the chief guest, noted that the reforms call for a new way of thinking in universities. For instance, he reflected on the 2016 KCSE examination results, and what they portend for universities.

He further noted that approximately 89,000 students scored C+ and above hence qualified to pursue degree courses.  “Fortunately, from both public and private universities, the number of places that are available under Government sponsorship exceed 89,000.”

As a result, public and private universities will absorb all these students under Government sponsorship and the number of available spaces will not be filled.

“If you have a course that no student wishes to study, you will be left with a course,” he told the institutions, adding that they would have to market such courses to attract self-sponsored students.

“If you can’t get students for courses – this is a new thinking and a paradigm shift for universities – you may have to rethink whether this course is attractive enough; whether you need to repackage it; whether you need to review it; or whether you need to scrap it. And this is the time for universities to reengineer their business models.”

Quality and Relevance Critical for Vision 2030

The CEO also noted that while opportunities for tertiary education and training had expanded rapidly over the past two decades, quality and relevance remained issues of concern. He challenged the institutions to ensure that their training is relevant to Kenya’s present and future needs.

“Are we producing more graduates who lack appropriate skills and competences for industrial development as envisioned in Vision 2030? These are some of the things universities and colleges which are represented here should reflect on.”

He observed that the Government’s efforts to revamp the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector had started bearing fruits. For instance, he pointed out that in the current placement cycle, the number of applicants for diploma TVET courses had increased to over 50,000 from less than 20,000 last year. “In fact, there is a good number who have the requirements to join universities for degree courses but have actually applied to join diploma courses in the TVET sector.”

This shows a shift in the attitudes towards the TVET sector, he noted, and appealed to the exhibitors to pay increased attention to the TVET sector.