Considering Gender and Socio-economic Factors as determinants of Students’ Enrolment in Regular and Parallel Undergraduate Study Platforms: A case of Public Universities in Kenya
Otieno, Mary Akinyi
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The ultimate goal of this study was to find out the extent to which the students’ enrolment in regular and parallel undergraduate study platforms are influenced by gender and socio-economic factors. The study has used secondary data collected from the admission records of University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenyatta University (KU) and Moi University (MU). In addition, primary data were collected from students and lecturers from the three public universities (KU, MOI and UoN), as well as education experts and policy makers. The analysis was mainly based on a comparative assessment of student gender disaggregated distribution trend data of the academic year period 2001/2002 to 2004/2005. The findings have revealed that although considerable efforts have been made toward gender equity; still women do suffer from a relatively under representation in public higher education in Kenya. Indeed, the findings have shown that students’ socio-economic status (SES) constitutes a significant determinant to the students’ enrolment; whereby few candidates from middle and high income families are enrolled for MII also known as Private/Parallel/self-sponsored programmes. Therefore, the study recommends that the Governments draw mechanisms that would alleviate gender and social-economical factors as barriers to access to higher education. Based on the findings of this study, researchers suggest that further studies should seek to establish how gender and socio-economical backgrounds affect the performance of enrolled students.