According to the Vision 2030, Kenya’s future as a prosperous and internationally competitive nation will depend on her university education system. There are expectations that the country will rely on its universities to create a sustainable pool of highly trained human resource capital that underpins national ambitions of being a knowledge-based economy.
Subsequently, the number of universities has increased from 58 in 2011/2012 to 67 in 2015 comprising 22 public chartered universities that include three technical universities, nine public university constituent colleges 17 private chartered universities, 12 universities operating with Letters of Interim Authority, five private university constituent colleges and one registered private university
The total university student enrolment rose by 22.8 per cent from 361,379 in 2013/14 to 443,783 in 2014/15. The increase was mainly due to infrastructure development, introduction of new courses and opening of more satellite campuses. Female student enrolment grew by 24.9 percent from 147,412 in 2013/14 to 184,164 in 2014/15 compared to an increase in male student enrolment of 21.3 per cent to 259,618.
In the 2014/15 academic year, total enrolment at public universities increased by 25.4 percent from 289,733 in 2013/14 to 363,334 in 2014/15 with female enrolment increasing by 26.3 per cent compared to that of male at 24.8 per cent. However, the total enrolment in private universities rose by 12.3 per cent from 71,646 in 2013/14 to 80,448 in 2014/15. Significant increases in enrolment were recorded in Maseno, Kisii, Laikipia, Dedan Kimathi, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Kabianga universities.
This expansion in universities has led to the steady rise in Gross Enrolment Rate in university education in both public and private universities. During the period under review, the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services, formerly the Joint Admissions Board was established under the Universities Act, 2012 as a body corporate to manage post-secondary student admission in higher education.
There is shortage of staff qualified with PhDs which is likely to compromise quality of education at this level. The limited availability of financing has rendered universities unable to recruit additional qualified staff.
Inadequate teaching staff for engineering programmes at university level has led to low quality and made some of the engineering courses unable to be accredited by professional bodies.
There exist weak university industry linkages. The industry does not link with universities in formulation of curriculum. This mismatch between demand and supply of labour has led to unemployment and low productivity in local industries.
Universities and Constituent Colleges: Currently there are 22 Public chartered universities, nine public university constituent Colleges, 17 Private Chartered Universities, five private university constituent colleges, 13 universities with Letters of Interim Authority and KAG-EAST University as a registered private university. In total there are 67 universities and institutions of higher education that are licensed to award degrees in the country.
Status of public universities by June 2015
- University of Nairobi (UoN) – established 1970 and chartered 2013
- Moi University (MU) – established 1984 and chartered 2013
- Kenyatta University (KU) – established 1985 and chartered 2013
- Egerton University (EU) – established 1987 and chartered 2013
- Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) – established 1994 and chartered 2013
- Maseno University (MSU) – established 2001 and chartered 2013
- Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) – established 2007 and chartered 2013
- Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DKUT) – 2012
- Chuka University (CU) – 2013
- Technical University of Kenya (TUK) – 2013
- Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) – 2013
- Pwani University (PU) – 2013
- Kisii University (EU) – 2013
- University of Eldoret – 2013
- Maasai Mara University – 2013
- Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology – 2013
- Laikipia University – 2013
- South Eastern Kenya University – 2013
- Meru University of Science and Technology – 2013
- Multimedia University of Kenya – 2013
- University of Kabianga – 2013
- Karatina University – 2013
Status of public university constituent colleges by June 2015
- Murang’a University College (JKUAT) – 2011
- Machakos University College (UoN) – 2011
- Cooperative University College of Kenya (JKUAT) – 2011
- Embu University College (UoN) – 2011
- Kirinyaga University College (KU) – 2011
- Rongo University College (MU) – 2011
- Kibabii Universtity College (MMUST) – 2011
- Garissa University College (EU) – 2011
- TaitaTaveta University College (JKUAT) – 2011
Pan African University (PAU): In 2011, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology was selected to host PAU’s post-graduate Institute on Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) at the main campus in Juja.
This institute which is part of PAU’s network in Africa is funded jointly by the African Union Commission, the Kenya Government, the African Development Bank and the Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Plans to establish Open University of Kenya: The government is keen to establish an open university in the country. All the necessary documentation is in place including a draft charter.
In accordance with the Universities Act 2012, The Open University of Kenya is supposed to be established as a specialized university that would need parliamentary approval. A technical committee has been working to set modalities for operationalization of the university. Initial resources been allocated to facilitate opening of the university as soon as possible.
Status of private chartered universities by June 2015
- University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UB) -1991
- Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA)-1992
- Daystar University (DU)-1994
- Scott Christian University (SCU)-1997
- United States International University (USIU)-1999
- Africa Nazarene University (ANU)-2002
- Kenya Methodist University (KEMU)-2006
- St. Paul’s University (SPU)-2007
- Pan African Christian University (PACU)-2008
- Strathmore University (SU)-2008
- Kabarak University (KU)-2008
- Mount Kenya University (MKU)-2011
- African International University (AIU) -2011
- Kenya Highlands Evangelical university (KHEU)-2011
- Great Lakes University of Kisumu (GLUK)-2012
- KCA University-2013
- Adventist University of Africa (AUA)-2013
Status of private university constituent colleges by June 2015:
- Hekima University College (CUEA) -1993
- Tangaza University College (CUEA) – 1997
- Marist International University College (CUEA) -2002
- Regina Pacis University College (CUEA) -2010
- Uzima University College (CUEA)-2012
Status of institutions with Letter of Interim Authority by June 2015:
- Kiriri Women’s University of Science and Technology- 2002
- Aga Khan University- 2002
- GRETSA University- 2006
- Presbyterian University of East Africa- 2008
- Inoorero University- 2009
- The East African University- 2010
- GENCO University- 2010
- Management University of Africa- 2011
- Riara University- 2012
- Pioneer International University- 2012
- UMMA University- 2013
- International Leadership University- 2014
- Zetech University- 2014
The status of registered private institutions by June 2015:
KAG – East University 1985
Accredited campuses of universities in Kenya as of June 2015:
- Kenya Methodist University, KEMU Towers, Moi Avenue, Nairobi
- Kenya Methodist University, KEMU Hub, University Way, Nairobi
- Kenyatta University, Parklands Campus
- Kenyatta University, Nairobi City, opposite Government Printer
- Laikipia University, Upper Hill, Solution Tech Place, 5th Floor
- Moi University Nairobi Campus, Bazaar Plaza, Moi Avenue
- Mount Kenya University, MKU Parklands
- Mount Kenya University, Bank Plaza, Moi Avenue
- Mount Kenya University, Union Towers
- Mount Kenya University, MKU Towers
- Pan African Christian University, Valley Road, Jubilee Ministries Building
- University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, Nairobi extension Centre, Ring Road, Nairobi
University campuses with provisional accreditation as of June 2015:
- KCA University, Monrovia Plaza
- Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Karen Campus
- Kisii University, Nairobi Campus, Corner House, 10th and 14th Floors
Education has consistently being regarded as the primary means of social mobility, national cohesion and socio-economic development. Consequently, amid radical reforms in education, the Government has embarked on implementing several flagship projects that are meant to expand access, equity, quality and relevance of education.
Secondary schools project: By end of 2015, the Government was planning to rehabilitate and expand facilities equivalent to 560 new schools. So far, Kshs6.3 billion has been disbursed to 355 secondary schools. Construction and rehabilitation works aimed at transforming 200 other schools into centres of excellence is in progress under the school infrastructure programme.
National Secondary Schools Rehabilitation Initiative
To improve the status of national secondary schools, a National Schools’ Rehabilitation Fund was established for general expansion of infrastructure aimed at allowing more students transit to secondary schools. Some 87 public secondary county schools were upgraded to national status between 2011-2013. By 2015, 26 schools more schools in will be upgraded amid efforts not just to improve quality but to promote national cohesion and integration.
Grants to special needs secondary schools
In the 2013/2014 financial year, over Kshs200 million was disbursed to 3,128 students and trainees in 25 special secondary schools, 70 integrated secondary schools and two diploma teacher training colleges. These grants were for provision of assistive technology, special instructional materials, special diet, medical services and other special needs education Plans are underway to upgrade several special secondary schools into national school status.
ICT integration in Basic Education (Primary Schools Laptop Project)
Plans are at advanced stage to provide 20,229 public primary schools, 4,000 public secondary schools, 20 primary teacher training colleges, two diploma colleges and 10 model e-learning centres with ICT capability. During the 2013/14 fiscal year, procurement was initiated with tender advertised and evaluation done, but litigation has delayed delivery of computers to primary schools.
Free Day Secondary Education Programme
The policy was implemented in 2008 to mainly enhance transition from primary to secondary schools, to accommodate the enrolment gains made at primary level through the Free Primary Education Programme. The capitation for the Free Day Secondary Education has been increased to Kshs12,687 from Kshs10,265. So far, the Government funding projects have made considerable contribution to transition from primary to secondary school. Transition rate has steadily increased from 45.8 percent in 2003 to over 75 per cent in 2014.
Sanitary Towels Initiative
The Government provides sanitary towels to girls in targeted schools in ASALS, pockets of high poverty and vulnerable areas to support retention. In the 2013/2014 financial year, the ministry allocated Kshs200 million and provided sanitary pads to 675,000 girls in 9,000 primary and 167 special needs primary and secondary schools.
School feeding programme, health/nutrition and de-worming programme
This programme aims at promoting good nutrition, health and hygiene education and improving access to basic education by reducing morbidity among school children. During the 2013/14 financial year, the programme continued to provide midday meals about 1.3 million school children in 105 ASAL districts and selected schools in informal settlements and urban slums in Nairobi.
County EMIS centres
Plans are underway to establish Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) in every county to facilitate education managers and administrators with accurate and timely data. The components under this include training data entry clerks and education officials. In 2013, preparatory activities were initiated with resources being sought from Global Partnership for Education initiative. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology also supplied selected district education offices with computers, printers and LAN connectivity to roll out EMIS.
Student’s loans and bursaries
The number of students receiving loans increased from 105,850 in 2011/12 to 118,530 in 2012/13 and to 144,785 in 2013/14. The total amount disbursed for undergraduate loans also increased from Kshs4.5 billion in 2011/12 to Kshs6 billion in 2013/14. The number of postgraduate students receiving loans rose from 2,132 in 2011/12 to 2,740 in 2012/13 and to 3,191 in 2013/14. The total amount disbursed for postgraduate loans increased from 234million shillings in 2011/12 to 401 million shillings in 2013/14.
Research, science technology and innovations programme
The science, technology and innovation Act 2013 was enacted in 2013 paving way for transformation of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) into the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI). As a delivery unit, NACOSTI funded 316 research proposals in 2012/2013 and 308 in 2013/2014). The commission also initiated the construction of NACOSTI headquarters at Kabete where 65 per cent of the building is completed. The Commission has also developed regulations, guidelines and codes on registration and accreditation of research institutions, quality assurance and licensing, NACOSTI also awarded 54 DAAD PhD scholarships in specialized areas in science and technology development.