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Kenyatta University’s open learning boosts enrolment

By - | May 6th 2013
By - | May 6th 2013

By Emmanuel Were

KENYA: The adoption of open learning by Kenyatta University has boosted its student intake, which has seen the university put in place plans to open more centres across the country.

Open learning allows students to choose when, where, what and how they will take their courses without reporting for classes at the main campus or other campuses, which might be a distance away.

Instead, students take the classes either online or at open learning centres near them.

Kenyatta University currently has nine open learning centres — one of the highest among Kenyan universities — in Mombasa, Marsabit, Garissa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nairobi, Embu, Nyeri and Nakuru.

The university hopes to take advantage of the devolution process as it rolls out more centres.

“Now we are starting to work with the county governments,” said Prof Olive Mugenda, the Kenyatta University vice-chancellor.

As more workers seek to enhance their academic qualifications to take advantage of career opportunities in the counties, universities that are easily accessible will attract more students.

Mugenda said they are currently focused on perfecting the model, even as they keep an eye on the opportunities created by devolution.

The open learning centres are also cheaper to run as some of the materials used to teach in campuses can be found online, avoiding duplication and wastage of resources. 

With the expansion of campuses and open learning centres, Kenyatta University has seen its student population grow from 15,000 in 2006 to about 62,000 this year.

Kenyatta University has 10 campuses — the main one located along the Thika superhighway — including one in Arusha, Tanzania.

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