Enforced Matiang’i Reforms Affect Students’ Admission To University


Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i shook up the education industry proposing and following through with stringent reforms. Amongst the most controversial moves in his career was the choice to change the 2016 examinations for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary  Education, usually pre-set 2 years in advance. Students in their last year of secondary education sat for newly set examinations. KSCE students of 2016 saw strict examination policies enforced by the Kenya National Examination Council to curb cheatings.


At the release of the KCSE results in late December, the results revealed a major decline in the performance of students with only 141 scoring an A. According to The Daily Nation, the drop was quite alarming as there were” 2,636 candidates who attained the grade last year(2015)” indicating rampant cheating amongst students.


Part of the plans to overhaul the education system includes a change in university admission standards. The dismal performance of KCSE candidates of 2016 has already had an effect on how many can be absorbed into local institutions of higher learning. In a bid to comply with the new academic guidelines Daystar University has already cancelled admissions into their university program.


In a letter addressed to applicants, Dr. Paul Mbutu Daystar’s Registrar announced, “Pre- University program at Daystar University for January 2017 semester is hereby cancelled” in accordance with the University Standard Guidelines for academic programs.  The letter from Daystar University featured below, could be the first among many universities ready to take the step to comply and work within the Matiang’i reforms.

January 4, 2017

Dear Applicant,


New Year greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

According to University Standard Guidelines for academic programs, Third Schedule PROG/STD/09, the minimum admission qualification in any University shall be C+ for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) Diploma or its equivalent.

It is based on the above statement that your admission to the Pre- University program at Daystar University for January 2017 semester is hereby cancelled.

NOTE. If you had a B- grade in English in form four, you can consider joining the Communication Diploma program.

We regret any inconveniences caused.

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Paul Mbutu

CC: Vice Chancellor
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs)


Although the new reforms may have many students losing out on admission to higher institutions on the fact that their grades do not meet the set requirements, many stakeholders are jumping for joy at the implementation of the new reforms. Among stakeholders of the education sector, lectures and parents claim “God is using Matiang’i to reform the system.”According to Daystar University’s officials, the university was willing to work within the new reforms to produce great graduates. Daystar University lecturer Wambui Wamunyu commented, ” The implementation of the new academic standards may have many students disappointed but is not the end of a dream. Instead, it is a time for reassessment and a chance to keep an open mind in one’s approach to education.”  The new reforms may seem tough on students but it elicits a new approach to ensure graduates produced are of a high standard.

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