Surge in University Entries: 201,133 Candidates Qualify in 2023 KCSE Exams

In a significant development, a staggering 201,133 candidates emerged victorious in the 2023 KCSE exams, securing a coveted mean grade of C plus and above. This achievement has not only broken previous records but has also set the stage for an influx of fresh minds into Kenyan universities.

The 2023 KCSE examinations witnessed a massive participation of 903,260 candidates, who undertook the rigorous assessment between October 10 and November 24, 2023. The surge in the number of successful candidates, particularly those meeting the minimum university entry grade, has sparked enthusiasm across the nation.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, in his announcement, revealed that all students meeting the requisite university entry grade would be absorbed by public universities. This aligns with the implementation of a new funding model aimed at facilitating higher education accessibility for deserving candidates.

Comparing the current triumph to the preceding year’s results, the statistics tell a compelling story. In 2022, a commendable 173,345 candidates achieved the mean grade of C plus and above, thereby qualifying for university admission. The stark increase in successful candidates in 2023 can be directly attributed to the government’s innovative grading system, a reform that is reshaping the landscape of education evaluation.

The catalyst for this surge lies in the streamlined grading methodology introduced by the Ministry of Education in the previous year. The novel system, now in full swing, factors in only two compulsory subjects when calculating the mean grade. As Education CS Machogu succinctly puts it, “This is as a result of the new grading system that reduced the number of subjects required to compute a mean grade.”

Under this groundbreaking grading structure, candidates are evaluated based on their performance in Mathematics and one language (English, Kiswahili, or Kenyan Sign Language). Additionally, the top five best-performed subjects by each candidate are considered, marking a departure from the conventional evaluation approach.

This reformative measure is expected to have far-reaching implications, not only increasing the pool of students eligible for university admission but also impacting diploma and TVET training at certificate and artisan levels. By redefining the criteria for success, the government has paved the way for a more inclusive and dynamic educational landscape.

The focal point of this transformative shift was underscored as President William Ruto was briefed on the KCSE 2023 results at State Lodge Eldoret on January 8, 2024. The image of the President being informed by Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and ministry officials signifies the national importance attached to these groundbreaking changes in the education sector.


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