The 7 best, reliable universities in Kenya for online education

Online courses offer much convenience and flexibility. PHOTO/FILE
Online courses offer much convenience and flexibility. PHOTO/FILE

Growing awareness of the positive benefits of acquisition of knowledge has raised the demand for higher education in Kenya, thereby creating a huge shortage for space in local universities.

In a bid to accommodate the growing numbers, both public and private universities have set up campuses and constituent colleges across the country, but these have not fully solved the shortage crisis.

Consequently universities have ventured into digital learning to replace the limiting traditional classrooms mode.

This has become a saviour for students who live far from major universities as well as those with busy schedules due its flexibility, convenience and cost effectiveness.

The top 7 Kenyan universities offering online programmes include;

1.) University of Nairobi
University of Nairobi is the largest public university in Kenya. It launched its Centre for Open and Distance Learning (CODL) at the college of Education and External studies in February 2011.

The centre which has modern training facilities and ICT equipment is sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Virtual University (AVU).

It offers a wide range of distance/online undergraduate and master’s degrees in fields such as:

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Education in Computer Technology
  • Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management

Due to an increased need to offer its programmes at a global level, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultural Technology (JKUAT) inaugurated its School of Open Distance and eLearning (SODeL) in May 2012.

JKUAT’s online programs are available in three of its campuses, namely; JKUAT main campus, JKUAT Eldoret campus and JKUAT Mombasa campus.

Some of the programs on offer include:

  • Certificate in Information Technology
  • Diploma in Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in ICT
  • Master in Business Administration

3.) Egerton University
The university launched its College of Distance Learning in 2002 with a view of offering learners higher education in a more convenient and accommodating environment.

Students enrolled in the college can get support from the various university centres spread across the country or through the university’s online portal.

Some of the programs on offer at CODL in partnership with local and international partners include;

  • Bachelor of Information- Library and Information Studies
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Arts-Community Development
  • Bachelor of Arts-Criminology
  • Master of Arts in Economics
  • Master of Arts in Linguistics

4.) Kenyatta University
Kenyatta University launched its digital school – Digital School of Virtual and Open Learning (DSVOL) in June 2014 with a motto ‘Education Anywhere, Anytime, At Your Own Schedule and Pace’ to benefit diploma, undergraduate and post graduate students unable to enrol for full time on campus programs.

Programs offered run on a trimester cycle which enables students to complete their undergraduate studies in three calendar years. The school provides students with tablets uploaded with the units the learners have registered for.

Some of the programs on offer at the KU digital school include:

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Education
  • Bachelor of Economics
  • Bachelor of Science Food Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Library and Information Sciences

5.) St Paul’s University
Distance learning academic programs were launched at St Paul’s University in September 2012. Since then the centre has grown significantly extending its geographical reach to Kenyans working in the wider East African region and other countries such as Liberia and Afghanistan.

The programs are structured into trimesters and take approximately two and a half years to complete.

Courses offered under distance learning include;

  • Diploma in Business Management
  • Diploma in Community Development
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Community Development
  • Master of Business Administration

6.) Strathmore University
Strathmore University is one of the leading private universities in Kenya boasting of a very successful accounting program dating back to 1966.

It opened a distance learning centre in 1992 which currently has affiliations to a number of globally respected schools including IESE Business School and Harvard Business School.

The Strathmore University distance learning centre offers programs such as:

  • Accounting
  • Finance and Applied Economics
  • Applied Research in Mathematics Science
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Information Technology

7.) African Nazarene University (ANU)
ANU is an American private Christian university in Nairobi affiliated to The Church of the Nazarene Colleges and Universities around the globe.

Located in Ongata Rongai near Nairobi, the Africa Nazarene University Institute of Open and Distance Learning was constituted in 2011.

The university has a well-established web-based learning management system which facilitates teaching and learning activities as well as interactions among and between students, administrative, academic and technical staff.

Programs on distance learning include:

  • Master of Arts in Religion
  • Master of Education
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Mass Communication
  • Diploma in Business Administration
  • Diploma in Purchasing & Supply Chain