Top 10 Universities in Kenya

Kenya is a magnificent reflection of African nature and beauty, with savannahs, various climates around the country, and national parks that give an unforgettable learning experience. Law, medical, business, and computer administration courses are all available at the certificate, diploma, degree, master’s, and Ph.D. levels.

Kenya offers a fantastic environment that is ideal for eager pupils. Kenyan education authorities and organizations work together to offer a welcoming and pleasant learning environment for both domestic and international students.

Nairobi City, Kenya’s capital, is a well-established social hub for multinational firms, multinational corporations, and organizations, giving excellent opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in their fields of study.

Kenya’s universities, colleges, medical schools, engineering schools, and law schools are well-known and regarded in the education and academic worlds, and they continue to provide competitive Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs for bright, dedicated students like you. One of the most important decisions you will ever make is where to study for a degree in Kenya.

Listed below are the Top 10 Universities in Kenya according to the 2021 rankings released by UniRank:

1. University of Nairobi

The Institution of Nairobi (UoN) is Kenya’s oldest and largest university. With the opening of the country’s education system, the university has grown to about 900 degree programs and over 80,000 students. It has roughly 2,000 academic employees and 5,500 technical and administrative staff.

The institution has six colleges spread across seven locations across the city. Each college has its unique focus: these are the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Architecture and Engineering, Biological and Physical Sciences, Education and External Studies, Health Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

Among UoN’s 184,000 graduates are legislators, cabinet ministers, and heads of state. Academic quality and professional growth are key characteristics of the university. It has also produced more human resource graduates than any other university in the country.

Nairobi, 480 km west of the Indian Ocean, is a bustling, multicultural metropolis. It is Kenya’s commercial, administrative, and cultural hub, and home to the world’s only city-based wildlife reserve (Nairobi National Park).

This 50-year-old Kenyan university has a selective admission procedure based on students’ previous academic records. This Kenyan university is moderately selective, with an acceptance rate of 40-50 percent. Moreover, international applicants are welcome to apply for admission. 

2. Kenyatta University

Kenyatta University is a public research university split across 13 campuses in Kenya. Kenyatta University’s main campus is 20km outside of Nairobi. 

Students at Kenyatta number around 70,000, with over 1,500 lecturers teaching them. The university began as Kenyatta College in 1970, following the country’s independence from British colonization. Kenyatta University was established in 1985.

Kenyatta’s diverse educational offerings are taught in English and organized into 18 schools, including humanities and social sciences, public health, architecture, engineering and technology, medicine, and the school of creative film and media studies. In 2018, a new school of security, diplomacy, and peace studies debuted.

Kenyatta University also offers considerable online learning, with over 10,000 students registered in the Digital School of Virtual and Open Learning, which uses online videos and other materials. Also, students can participate in a variety of sports, from scrabble and chess to karate and taekwondo. On-campus, there are two pools, a gym, five football fields, dozens of racketball courts, and two sporting fields. 

The admission rate range is 90-100% making this Kenyan higher education organization the least selective institution.

3. Strathmore University

Despite being a relatively small institution, Strathmore University is known to be a recognized business school in the country. Likewise, the institution has a selective admission policy based on entrance examinations and students’ past academic records and grades. The admission rate range is 30-40% making this Kenyan higher education organization a very selective institution.

Dating back, Strathmore College was founded in 1961 by a group of professionals who organized a charitable educational trust (now the Strathmore Educational Trust). Strathmore’s accounting program has produced 60% of Kenya’s CPA finalists in the last decade.

The Institute for the Management of Information Systems (previously the Institute of Data Processing Management) Diploma and Higher Diploma were introduced in January 1991 at the Lavington, Nairobi Campus. In January 1992, a Distance Learning Centre was established to provide accounting correspondence courses to students unable to attend lectures.

It was granted interim status as a university in August 2002, with a faculty of commerce and a faculty of information technology. Strathmore received its university charter in 2008. Since then, Strathmore Business School has been formed, having academic links to IESE and Harvard Business School.

4. United States International University Africa

The United States International Institution – Africa, sometimes known as USIU Africa, is a private university in Nairobi, Kenya. It was founded in 1969 as the USIU Nairobi Campus. It became an independent university in 1999.

The university’s five primary schools provide undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in a variety of subjects: Chandaria School of Business, Science and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Graduate Studies, Research, and Extension.

USIU is a global academic institution with students from 130 countries and research relationships with world-renowned institutions. Some of the university’s projects include Global Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (GAME) and Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DELPHE). The institution has ties with major organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The institution has a vast campus in the Roysambu neighborhood that contains cafeterias, playgrounds, sports facilities, libraries, and research centers, among other things. There are many student clubs and organizations and support is offered to students with disabilities as well. The school also offers assistance to students looking for employment through its Student Employment Office.

5. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Jomo Kenyatta University is a university of global excellence in Training, Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for development. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is a public university situated northeast of Nairobi, Kenya. The institution was founded in 1981 as Jomo Kenyatta College of Agriculture and Technology (JKCAT), a mid-level college, with aid from the Japanese government. 

Currently, the university provides instruction in the fields of technology, engineering, science, architecture, and building sciences. The university has significant research focus on biotechnology and engineering and has been named Kenya’s most preferred university for three consecutive years. 

Its mission is to provide affordable, high-quality education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship to develop leaders in agriculture, engineering, technology, enterprise development, the built environment, health sciences, social sciences, and other applied sciences to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world.

Furthermore, the university also offers accommodation to some of the students at subsidized rates. There are six students’ hostels inside the school compound, of which three are occupied by males and three by females. 

6. Egerton University

Egerton University is Kenya’s oldest institution of higher learning. Lord Maurice Egerton of Tatton, a British settler in Kenya in the 1920s, created it as a Farm School in 1939 and eventually became an Agricultural College providing diplomas in 1950. Egerton Agricultural College was gazetted as a constituent college of the University of Nairobi in 1986. In 1987, Egerton University was established by an Act of Parliament. To date, Egerton University has two campuses in Njoro and Nakuru Town.

The University has ten faculties: the Faculty of Agriculture (FoA), the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), the Faculty of Commerce (FoC), the Faculty of Education and Community Development Studies (FEDCOS), the Faculty of Engineering and Technology (FET), the Faculty of Environment and Resources Development (FERD), the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), the Faculty of Law (FoL), the Faculty of Science (FoS), and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery.

There are 51 academic departments offering diploma, undergraduate, and graduate programs. They are all open to government-sponsored and self-sponsored students alike. The University also provides courses in computer literacy, computer repair and maintenance, accounting, and bridge courses.

7. Moi University

Moi University was created as Kenya’s second public university by an Act of Parliament, the Moi University Act of 1984, in Eldoret, Kenya’s fifth-largest city. It has grown to become Kenya’s leading university in terms of teaching, research, and development. It now has 14 schools, 5 sites, 5 satellite campuses, and 2 constituent institutions, with 17,000 students and 3,000 employees.

Moi University serves about 39,786 students through onsite and offshore courses in 233 degree programs offered by the institution’s 15 Schools. Students from 17 nations and all 47 Kenyan counties attend Moi University. It is imperative that the University actively pursues an inclusive environment for students with disabilities to fully benefit from the educational benefits of diversity.

The University is home to some of the largest accredited schools of education and business in the country, as well as one of the greatest medical and engineering schools. In addition to contributing to the educated workforce that helps power the economy and quality of life in the country and beyond, many University graduates are absorbed nationally and worldwide.

8. Mount Kenya University

Mount Kenya University’s main campus is in Thika, with satellite campuses in Nairobi, Parklands, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nkubu, Meru, Kakamega, and Kisii. The University also has study centers in Malindi, Kisumu, Nyeri, and Kericho, as well as marketing offices in Garissa, Isiolo, and Kitale. 

Moreover, MKU has successfully formed alliances with like-minded institutions of higher learning all around the world. The University currently has approximately 50 connections and links at the local, regional, and international levels.

The University has three (3) institutes: Equip Africa Institute, Institute of Security, Justice, and Ethics, and Institute of Films, Performing, and Creative Arts, as well as one (1) college (Equip Africa College of Health Sciences) and 13 schools: Medical School; Public Health; Nursing; Clinical Medicine; Pharmacy; Law; Pure and Applied Sciences; Engineering Energy and Built Environment; Education; Computing and Informatics; Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Management.

MKU programs are accredited by the following professional bodies, in addition to the Commission for University Education: Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB); The Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute (KNDI); Clinical Officers Council (COC); Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB); Public Health Officers and Technicians Council (PHOTC); Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK); Commission for Legal Education (CLE); and Kenya Medical Laboratory Technologist and Tec (KMLTTB).

9. The Catholic University of Eastern Africa

The Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa (CHIEA) began as a graduate school of theology. CHIEA was created in 1984 by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA). AMECEA comprises Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

The Institute received its “Letter of Interim Authority” in 1989, the first step towards becoming a private university. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was founded after three years of extensive talks between CHIEA and the Commission for Higher Education. The Civil Charter was granted to CHIEA on November 3, 1992. This established the university as a private institution. In the next years, the Science and Business Faculties were founded in 2002 and the Center for Social Justice & Ethics was founded in 2003.

By its mission, vision, and philosophy, the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) is committed to providing scientific research, holistic education, and beneficial community service with integrity to meet the needs and expectations of its customers and relevant interested parties.

10. Technical University of Kenya

The Technical University of Kenya (TU-K) arose from the promotion of the Kenya Polytechnic University College (KPUC). TU-K is Kenya’s first Technical University, formed under the planned Universities Act, 2012. The technical university in Kenya would provide higher education and research in technology. The technical university concept is being developed in Kenya to support Vision 2030 and the nation’s economic development.

As a higher education school, TU-K must provide undergraduate degrees at the Bachelor’s level. TU-K continues to train technologists to bridge the gap between, say, an engineer and a technician. Traditionally, engineers (or equivalently, architects, surveyors, planners, or estate managers) are educated in the conceptualization, creativity, and creation of new artifacts and systems. The technologist, on the other hand, is typically concerned with the creation of artifacts and the implementation of systems. 

For those interested in becoming technicians, TU-K offers the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree. TU-K, on the other hand, offers full professional degrees in a variety of subjects. It plans to provide degrees such as Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng. ), Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch. ), and Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.).

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