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Reasons Why Many University Students Fail to Graduate

Reasons Why Many University Students Fail to Graduate

Many university students in Kenya fail to graduate as a result of numerous challenges, despite the ongoing controversy over fake degrees plaguing the political class.

Some of these difficulties are attributed to students, while others are attributed to school administrators and lecturers.

Here are the top five reasons why students fail to graduate from colleges and universities:

Missing marks

Finding missing grades in Kenyan universities has been dubbed a “extreme sport.” Missing marks have become a common occurrence in Kenyan universities in recent years.

It has been described as a threat in some cases, preventing many comrades from graduating.

This has primarily been attributed to lecturers who fail to submit students’ results on time, as well as the large number of students enrolled for a specific course.

Furthermore, the failure to submit students’ scores has been caused by school administrations’ failure to pay lecturers on time, as some are forced to withhold students’ results in order to be paid.

Exam Failure

Many students fail to graduate from campus due to poor performance in some units, similar to missing marks.

Despite the fact that universities have different grading systems, students must meet certain marks in order to pass their courses.

Failure to meet the minimum threshold necessitates supplementary exams for some students, while others are forced to redo the unit entirely at a cost.

Furthermore, the failure of units and projects causes students to stay longer in school, which may jeopardize their desire to continue their education.

According to Prof. Maurice Amutabi, many students working on research projects were spending more time in school because of their project supervisors.

He claimed that Kenyan universities were producing fewer graduates due to strained relationships between lecturers and students.

He says students are spending far too much time in the system, far longer than is necessary, for reasons caused by supervisors.  

Some supervisors are really mean and selfish and they turn against their own students when they are questioned or asked for help.

“Supervisor menace is a reality in universities in Africa and students must be protected from this violence if African universities hope to meet their academic objectives in graduate training,” he stated.

Deferring studies/ Discontinuation

Some students do not graduate because they postpone their courses due to personal reasons such as illness, pregnancy, or career demands.

Students may take longer than the intended break and face difficulties returning to school because they must start over with a new group of students.

Universities, on the other hand, may terminate the academic careers of some students due to poor performance in class.

Poor results in some courses, such as medicine and engineering, result in students’ automatic dismissal.

Students are then given the option of attending another institution to complete the course or choosing another course entirely.

Nonetheless, students are advised to select courses that match their aptitude and academic capabilities.

Fee Arrears 

With Kenyans’ current economic burden, paying fees can be a difficult task for many parents and students, particularly self-sponsored students.

This is due to the fact that they pay more than their government-sponsored counterparts.

While some institutions allow students to take exams with outstanding balances, all students must pay their fees before graduating and receiving their certificates.


Student strikes also play a significant role in students failing to graduate.

Most students in universities known for their frequent incidents of unrest spend more time in school because they stay at home after strikes, depending on the extent of the damage.

Furthermore, students are required to meet certain requirements such as clearing fee balances and damage fees, which disadvantage students who have large fee areas.


Students who are found to be responsible for such disruptions face disciplinary action from school administration ranging from suspension to expulsion.

Other noteworthy reasons include drug abuse, which has caused a number of students to lose focus on their studies and pursue interests other than academics.

Reasons Why Many University Students Fail to Graduate



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