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VAS

KU seeks more students in counties

COUNTIES
By - | May 6th 2013

By EMMANUEL WERE

KENYA: The adoption of open learning by Kenyatta University (KU) has boosted its student intake as the institution gears up to open more centres across the country.

The institution seeks to take advantage of opportunities set to be created by devolution.

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 could be a distance away.

Instead, students take classes – either online or lessons availed there - at the open learning centres set up by the university closer to them.

KU currently has nine open learning centres, one of the highest among Kenyan varsities in areas such as Mombasa, Marsabit, Garissa, Kisumu and Kakamega. Other centres are in Nairobi, Embu, Nyeri and Nakuru. 

The facilities have made access easier for students and the plan is to roll out more of them across the country riding on the efforts to have stronger county governments. “Of course now we are starting to work with the county government,” said KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda.

The devolution of power is set to see more interest in the county government with some of the skilled workforce opting to look for employment opportunities in the various counties. 

Progress

And as more workers seek to enhance their academic qualifications so that they may progress career-wise, they will be trooping back to school for diplomas and degree certificates.

This will place universities that are easily accessible at an advantage to attract more students. “Through the centres, the students are supposed to have access to services and it is easier for them instead of coming to the main campus. Most importantly the students enrolled can get the services where they are enrolled,” Mugenda said.

She said the current focus would be to perfect the model but that there was also an eye on opportunities created by Kenya’s devolution of power from all functions being coordinated by a central Government to powers being vested among governors in the 47 counties.

However, Mugenda said they were working out modalities on how to work with the State before they roll out more centres. The centres also prove to be cheaper since materials can be provided online.

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