Chartered public universities in Kenya in the early 2000s were only 6, serving the whole population of high school leavers. These were the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University, Egerton University, JKUAT, and Maseno Universities. Back then, only four percent of form four leavers were allowed to join public universities.
Currently, this population has greatly increased with the demand for university degrees by Kenyans increasing by the day.
Every year, data from the release of KCSE results by the Ministry of Education indicates that at least 150,000 high school graduates qualify for undergraduate courses in Kenyan universities.
This number cannot be absorbed by public universities alone hence students who miss out on chances in public universities have an opportunity to join private universities of their choice.
The Ministry has set the current minimum university entry grade to be C+ (Plus), for both public and private universities. Those below this grade are encouraged by the ministry to join public TVET colleges, to pursue their dream careers, albeit at diploma or certificate levels.
Difference between a University and a University College
A university is an institution of higher learning where students study for degrees, masters, and PhDs and academic research is done.
A university must be chartered by the government before being allowed to offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Kenya. The charter gives authority to universities to offer certain courses and to confer degrees in these courses.
A university encompasses many schools or faculties each dealing with a set of academic disciplines. A good example is the School of Pure and Applied Sciences which offers courses touching on areas like sciences, biochemistry, analytical and industrial chemistry.
All universities in Kenya are regulated by the Commission for University Education (CUE).
A university college on the other hand is a constituent of another university and only offers a limited number of undergraduate and graduate courses, along with diploma courses. A university college is a college permitted to offer degree courses.
That being said, I present a comprehensive list of public and private universities in Kenya and the county they are located.
Public Chartered Universities in Kenya and Their Location
- The University of Nairobi – Nairobi County
- Moi University – Uasin Gishu
- Kenyatta University – Kiambu
- Egerton University – Nakuru
- Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology – Kiambu
- Maseno University – Kisumu
- Chuka University – Tharaka Nithi
- Dedan Kimathi University of Technology – Nyeri
- Kisii University – Kisii
- Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology – Kakamega
- Pwani University – Kilifi
- Technical University of Kenya – Nairobi County
- Maasai Mara University – Narok
- Meru University of Science and Technology – Meru
- Multimedia University of Kenya – Nairobi County
- South Eastern Kenya University – Kitui
- Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology – Siaya
- Laikipia University – Laikipia
- University of Kabianga – Kericho
- Karatina University – Nyeri
- University of Eldoret – Uasin Gishu
- Kibabii University – Bungoma
- Kirinyaga University – Kirinyaga
- Machakos University – Machakos
- Murang’a University of Technology – Murang’a
- Rongo University – Migori
- Taita Taveta University – Taita Taveta
- The Co-operative University of Kenya – Nairobi County
- University of Embu – Embu
- Garissa University – Garissa
- Kaimosi Friends University – Vihiga
- Alupe University – Busia
- Tom Mboya University – Homa Bay
- Tharaka University- Tharaka Nithi
- Open University of Kenya (Online)
Public University Colleges
- Turkana University College – Turkana
- Bomet University College – Bomet
Private Chartered Universities
- University of Eastern Africa – Uasin Gishu
- Catholic University of Eastern Africa – Nairobi County
- Daystar University – Machakos
- Scott Christian University – Machakos
- United States International University – Nairobi County
- Africa Nazarene University – Kajiado
- Kenya Methodist University – Meru
- St. Paul’s University – Kiambu
- Pan Africa Christian University – Nairobi County
- Kabarak University – Baringo
- Strathmore University – Nairobi County
- Africa International University – Nairobi County
- Kenya Highlands Evangelical University – Kericho
- Mount Kenya University – Kiambu
- Great Lakes University of Kisumu- Kisumu
- Adventist University of Africa – Kajiado
- KCA University – Nairobi County
- KAG – East University – Kajiado
- Lukenya University – Machakos
- Zetech University – Kiambu
- Kiriri Women’s University of Science and Technology – Nairobi
- The East African University – Kajiado
Private University Colleges
- Tangaza University College – Nairobi County
- Marist International University College – Nairobi County
- Regina Pacis University College – Nairobi County
- Uzima University College – Kisumu
- Hekima University College – Nairobi County
Private Universities with Letters of Interim Authority
- Aga Khan University – Nairobi County
- GRETSA University – Kiambu
- Presbyterian University of East Africa – Kiambu
- Management University of East Africa – Nairobi County
- Pioneer International University – Nairobi County
- Riara University – Nairobi County
- Umma University – Kajiado County
- International Leadership University – Nairobi County
- RAF International University – Nairobi County
- AMREF International University
We have reached the end. I hope this information will help you choose a certified and recognized university in Kenya to further your dreams.