Kenya Open University Granted Permission to Admit First Batch of Students; Fees for Programs

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Kenya Open University Granted Permission to Admit First Batch of Students; Fees for Programs
Kenya Open University Granted Permission to Admit First Batch of Students; Fees for Programs

Kenya Open University Granted Permission to Admit First Batch of Students; Fees for Programs

Members of Parliament have cleared the way for the admittance of the first cohort of students, paving the way for the Kenya Open University to become a reality.

The National Assembly Education Committee has authorized the establishment of a new virtual university, initiating the admissions process for approximately 7,000 students.

E-learning will allow qualified students to pursue their preferred courses, thereby eliminating the need for physical classrooms.

The Education Committee, led by Tinderet MP Julius Melly, emphasized that the university will eliminate barriers to access for marginalized groups.

A part of the committee’s report states that the committee is convinced that investing in the Open University for Kenya is prudent and timely.

This development represents a significant turning point in the anticipated nature of learning in postsecondary institutions, as it will be predominately based on information and technology.

The university seeks to make education more affordable by reducing the costs of transportation, housing, tuition, and admission for students attending physical classes.

In addition, the university will provide access to individuals living or working in remote areas, regardless of their socioeconomic status, allowing them to pursue higher education.

Despite the fact that the university campus will be located in Konza City, Machakos County, all classes will be delivered online.

Depending on the nature of the course, the technical committee spearheading the establishment of the institution has projected an initial fee range between Sh10,400 and Sh10,900 per module.

The university intends to provide eight online degree and certificate programs, with students typically enrolling in four to six subjects.

Learners will pay Sh10,400 for programs such as Bachelor of Data Science, Economics, and Statistics, Bachelor of Business and Entrepreneurship, Bachelor of Technology Education, and Bachelor of Cyber Security and Digital Forensic.

A Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Science and Technology and Food Systems will cost students Sh10,900.

The university’s mandate will also allow it to offer postgraduate diploma courses in leadership and management, learning design and technology for a cost of Sh130,000 per year.

In addition, students will be able to study climate change and sustainability, global citizenship, philosophy ethics and social cohesion, psychology, and research.

The Permanent Secretary of Higher Education, Beatrice Inyangala, stated that the establishment of the Open University is part of a concerted effort to realize stalled initiatives.

‘‘The Open University is a stalled project, it has been on our books since it was conceptualised in 2010. It had an allocation of Sh20 million that has been unused for the past four years,’’ Dr Inyangala said.

The government has repeatedly emphasized that the university intends to address the high cost of higher education and provide opportunities for those who were unable to gain admission in previous admissions cycles.

The vice-chairman of the Education Committee, Malulu Injendi, questioned why the government was pushing for this initiative rather than reviving struggling public universities.

‘‘I can see you want us to review school fees from Sh16, 000 to Sh48,000. What you are asking for also is Sh1.8 billion for Open University, is this in good faith? ‘If this Sh1.8 billion will be given to you will that amount be final or you will come back to ask for more money in future,’’ said Injendi.

Dr. Inyangala responded that the Open University will become self-sufficient once it begins operations.

She acknowledged that additional funding would be required during the first three years of the program’s development, but assured that the Open University would be able to sustain itself financially thereafter.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has already been provided with a blueprint for the institution’s establishment, as well as proposals and the Open University of Kenya Bill 2011, which includes a proposed charter.

The government has requested an additional allocation of Sh1.86 million for the establishment of physical facilities, ICT structures, designs, production, the acquisition of teaching and learning materials, and learner support services.

The majority of employees will be hired on a contractual basis, and salaries are anticipated to account for 30 percent of the budget.

Kenya Open University Granted Permission to Admit First Batch of Students; Fees for Programs.

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