Access and Equity in Higher Education in Kenya


In the last decade in Kenya, a great transformation has been witnessed in terms of access to opportunities for higher education. This is evidenced by the rapidly growing number of colleges and universities offering degrees, diplomas and certificate courses. Enrolment levels in institutions of higher learning have increased. There is competition between colleges in setting up campuses away from the capital city to far flung districts. All parts of the country have been catered for. Accessibility has cut across all ages. Fifty year olds graduating are no longer a strange phenomenon. Gender parity has also been catered for. More women can now get access to higher education than any other time in our history. Access is likely to increase even further with the shifting trend towards distant learning through the Internet and virtual learning centres. In spite of the increase in accessibility, equity is still a challenge. While each of the above issues serves to address equity, pertinent issues still need to be addressed. Pertinent issues include: high costs of tuition and other fees – which continues to lock out a large number of potential students who are still grappling with “unga” 1 issues. The opportunities also lock out a large proportion of Kenyans who dropped out of school at primary level since KCSE certificate is an entry requirement. Most colleges have located their campuses in urban areas locking out the rural folk. The number of Kenyans pursuing higher education in neighbouring Uganda is also of great concern. It is a case of missed opportunity, loss in revenue as well as possibility of brain drain. The Government needs to address these issues urgently in a bid to achieve Vision 2030

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