Oldest Universities in Kenya

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Education in Kenya dates as far back as 1728. Later, in the 19th Century, missionaries arrived along the shores of the Indian Ocean and established the first school in the coastal town of Mombasa. Universities in Kenya are the final level in Kenya’s education system, 8-4-4. After 8 years in primary school, pupils proceed to secondary school for four years, and they are later admitted in universities for four more years.

The oldest universities in Kenya are:

University of Nairobi

University of Nairobi is the biggest University in Kenya

University of Nairobi is the biggest University in Kenya

It is the oldest university in Kenya, founded in 1970. The University of Nairobi is also one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the country, and it is located in a prime spot overlooking Nairobi’s city center.

Notable alumni of the University of Nairobi include the late Nobel peace prize laureate Wangari Mathai. There are over 300 academic programs in the 30 faculties of this university.

Kenyatta University

Kenyatta University is located in Kahawa in Thika Road

Kenyatta University is located in Kahawa in Thika Road

Established in 1985, this public university previously served as army barracks for the British before Kenya’s independence. Kenyatta University (KU) is one of the top universities in Kenya, and its main campus is located in Kahawa area along Thika Road, about 20km from Nairobi’s city center.

In addition to its Nairobi Town Campus, Kenyatta University has university colleges and campuses in Nakuru, Nyeri, Mombasa and Embu. The bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees offered in KU include hospitality and tourism, economics, public health and education.

Maseno University

Maseno University started in 1991, and it is one of the top public universities in Kenya. It is located in Maseno, near Kenya’s third largest city Kisumu.

Maseno University’s name is derived from the name of a local tree called oseno that grew around an area where missionaries set up when they arrived in this region.

Before becoming a university, Maseno University was known as Maseno University College, a university college of Moi University.

Egerton University

This public university has its main campus in Njoro, near Nakuru. Egerton University occupies over 740 acres of land previously owned by Lord Maurice Egerton of Tatton. Founded in 1939, Egerton University now has campuses in Nakuru Town and Nairobi.

Moi University Eldoret

Founded in 1984, Moi University was the second university in the country. It is located in Eldoret, and it has campuses and constituent colleges like Garissa University College, Nairobi Campus and Kitale Campus.

These leading universities in Kenya also admit students from neighboring East African countries like Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.


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