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Open University Of Kenya (OUK): Degree programs, Cost and Academic Requirements

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Open University Of Kenya (OUK): Degree programs, Cost and Academic Requirements

The country’s first completely virtual university, the Open University of Kenya (OUK), has announced five pioneering degree programs.

Earlier this month, President William Ruto granted a charter to the government-funded university, which will be located in the city of Konza, Machakos County.

The university announced through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) that admission applications for the degree programs and two postgraduate diploma courses began on Monday.

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A Bachelor of Data Science, a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, a Bachelor of Technology Education, a Bachelor of Business and Entrepreneurship, and a Bachelor of Economics and Statistics will be offered.

Postgraduate programs include a Diploma in Leadership and Accountability and a Diploma in Learning Design and Technology. There are between 12 and 14 course units per academic year for degree and postgraduate diploma programs.

The completion of postgraduate programs will take one year, while bachelor’s degree programs will take four years, according to a statement from a college placement organization.

However, for open and self-paced learning, a student may decide to take one course unit at a time through the alternative flexible mode and may plan to take longer periods.

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Full-time undergraduate study at OUK costs KSh. 105,000 per year, with the exception of the Bachelor of Technology Education degree, which costs KSh. 115,000 per year.

The cost of pursuing a postgraduate diploma program for one academic year is Ksh 110,000. Under the new higher education financing model, the government negotiated a 15 percent discount with universities, which has been factored into the annual cost of pursuing a degree.

Bachelor’s degree and postgraduate diploma students will also have the option to pay for and pursue individual course units at a cost of Ksh 10,000 per unit, whereas students from outside East Africa will pay 10% more for all programs and course units.

The Chief Executive Officer of KUCCPS, Dr. Agnes Mercy Wahome, stated that all applications submitted through the KUCCPS portal will be free and without a deadline.

“This is due to the uniqueness of the Open University‘s learning model and flexible modular program design, which will enable students to study at their own pace and convenience,” Dr. Wahome explained.

The minimum admission requirements for undergraduate courses are a KCSE or equivalent certificate and a portfolio demonstrating prior learning.

Academic Requirements are For Bachelor’s degree programs

1. A grade of C+ or higher on the KCSE, if applicable, or its equivalent, as determined by the university senate; OR

2. Diplomas or professional credentials from an accredited institution OR

3. KCSE certificate or equivalent and a diploma of foundation or bridging courses from an accredited institution OR

4. Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education with no less than one principal and subsidiary pass OR

5. A bachelor’s degree from a Senate-approved institution, OR

6. Documentation of a KCSE certificate or equivalent and a portfolio for the purpose of determining recognition of prior learning in relation to:

a) Two years of on-the-job training OR

b) Two years of relevant work experience OR

c) Two short courses lasting at least three months each in relevant disciplines OR

7. Any other requirements that may be determined by the Senate that recognize prior learning leading to equivalents of the specified criteria, experience, and skills of learners.


Ruto has previously referred to the virtual university as a “game-changer” that will allow individuals from remote areas of the country to gain access to a university education.

Ruto stated that the combined capacity of the country’s 41 public and 37 private universities currently accommodates a total of 650,638 students. However, this capacity falls short of meeting the increasing demand.

Consequently, each year, a significant number of eligible and enthusiastic young individuals are unable to secure enrollment in university courses. This statement was made by the president when he awarded the college its charter on August 3rd.

According to President Ruto, the establishment of a national open university is an intervention to increase access and reduce the cost of higher education in order to realize his government’s goal of a complete transition to higher education.

He stated that more than 100 billion Kenyan shillings were used to construct the facility. “The power generation facility alone is roughly Ksh. 1.9 billion, in addition to all the other infrastructure that has been built here,” stated the president at the time.

James Mwangi, CEO of Equity Group, is OUK’s chancellor, while Prof. Elijah Omwenga serves as vice-chancellor.

Open University Of Kenya (OUK): Degree programs, Cost and Academic Requirements

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