New Open University of Kenya to offer IT-related courses

President Willaim Ruto awards charter to Open University of Kenya leadership during official unveiling of Kenya's first virtual university in Konza technopolis, Machakos County on Thursday, August 3. [Stephen Nzioka, Standard] 

The 173,000 candidates who sat the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination and were eligible to join the university have a new lifeline as they can now choose to pursue IT-related degree programmes from the newly launched the Open University of Kenya.

President William Ruto announced that the cost of the six pioneer programmes at the new university will cost half the fees charged in other public universities.

The six undergraduate degree programmes include a Bachelor of Cyber security and digital forensics, Bachelor of data science, Bachelor of Technology Education, Bachelor of Science in business and Entrepreneurship, Bachelor of Economics and Statistics, and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Food security.

The university will also offer two graduate degrees in leadership and accountability and learning design and teaching.

The Open University is now the 42nd public university in the country and will admit its first cohort in September.

Create opportunities

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu lauded the university noting it will create opportunities to build on human capital.

“This is a new chapter in access to higher education opportunities by leveraging technology.  This university will promote access to higher education for many men and women who could otherwise have dropped out.

“They will now be able to access higher education conveniently and at an affordable cost,” Machogu said.

The CS termed the institution an important milestone in ensuring that Kenya has opportunities to build human capital.

Dr Ruto instructed the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) to include the institution as an option for placement in the 2023/24 cycle.

This means that more than 140,000 students who were placed in public and private universities will have a chance to switch their universities and course upon admission in September when the placement body opens the inter-university transfer.

The directive also gives a lifeline to the 23,000 candidates that qualified for university but did not choose to pursue any degree or diploma course in this year’s placement cycle to universities and colleges.

The institution will give students the opportunity to pursue the eight courses virtually.