Diploma holders will from next year be allowed to join universities as second or third year students in a new credit transfer system.
New rules by the Kenya National Qualifications Framework state that all diploma courses must take between two or three years to complete and the students must have attained a C- or C plain at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.
Previously, diploma courses were not standardised or recognised by universities.
The rules, which state students should be admitted for various courses in colleges and universities, are set to be unveiled at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development Thursday ahead of their rollout in January.
The changes are meant to make learning more flexible since students who achieve low marks in national examinations can progress from the lowest level to the highest through the credit transfer system.
“A student will be allowed to transfer credits but must not exceed 49 per cent. That means that a student must be in an institution for at least two years before graduation,” said the authority chairman, Prof Bonventure Kere.
“We have benchmarked the qualifications with internationally recommended hours. We want to agree on the learning outcomes at each level, which includes knowledge, skills and competencies,” said Prof Kere.
The qualifications have been put into 10 levels; that is doctorate, masters, postgraduate diploma, degree or management professional, diploma and technician skilled supervisory, master craft person, vocational training or artisan, semi-skilled, pre-vocational and primary certificate.
Other categories of basic education include vocational, technical and higher education.