Some 62,851 out of 69,151 candidates who scored C+ and above in 2017 Form Four national exams have been selected to join universities under the government-sponsored programme.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed on Monday announced that 36,945 of those selected are male while 25,946 are female.
During last year’s exam, 69,151 students scored C+, the minimum grade for university admission.
Of these, 553 opted for diploma courses, according to Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
A further 5,747 failed to secure placement while some 2,128 did not apply at all.
“I call upon the placement service to reach out to these candidate individually to give them a chance to apply,” said the Ms Mohamed
According to Ms Mohamed, the number of students selected to pursue courses in Science Technology and Mathematics (STEM) increased by 20 percent compared to the previous year.
She said 44.76 percent of the candidates, which translates to 28, 135, have been admitted to science courses while 34,716 will study humanities.
Of the group joining STEM programmes, 8, 979 are female while 19, 156 are male.
Some 971 students were picked to pursue STEM courses through affirmative action, according to the CS.
The rise follows a government drive to encourage more students to pursue courses in the three fields to help achieve goals in Kenya’s Vision 2030.
Already the government is funding students based on courses— a move that has seen some universities focusing on arts get less funding.
In the selection done over three months, some 28, 866 were granted the green light to to join Technical and vocational institutions (TVET).
KUCCPS CEO John Muraguri said students will start reporting to their colleges by May.
In the 2017 KCSE, some 100,906 others scored between C plain and C-, grades good enough to get them admitted to diploma and certificate courses.
A total of 213, 600 scored D- to E, grades that make them eligible to join Vocational Training Centres for certificate and artisanal courses.
The government has invested heavily in TVET centres, with 60 institutions under construction.
There are also plans to put up more than 70 new institutions as there are only 170,000 slots at the moment.
“We are putting more emphasis on TVET in order to absorb more students across the country,” Ms Mohamed told National Assembly’s Education Committee last month.