The University ranking in Kenya is based on the school’s number of alumni who have secured employment, published research projects, the quality of its learning facilities and other assets, students’ population, its regional and global reputation, among other things.
The country has 30 public universities, 30 chartered private universities and 30 universities with Letter of Interim Authority (LIA). Tens of thousands of students apply to these institutes yearly. Hence, according to UNESCO’s report, Kenya’s adult literacy rate is 81.53%, 84.99% for males and 78.19% for females
List of the best universities
Most Kenyan scholars prefer institutions that are at the top of the global and national ranking lists. Hence, this creates a competitive environment whereby schools at the top in a particular year is not guaranteed the same position in future. Here are the top institutions ranking in Kenya:
1. University of Nairobi (UoN)
UoN is the top university in Kenya. It trains most of Kenya’s workforce and is among East Africa’s best higher learning institutions. UoN ranks higher among public universities in Kenya, and it offers about 900 courses.
The school has over 90,000 students, over 2,000 academic staff with PhDs, more than 400 professors, and 5,000 administrative and technical staff. How many campuses does the University of Nairobi have? It has six colleges located throughout the city on seven separate campuses.
2. Kenyatta University (KU)
KU is among the biggest universities in Kenya and a leading public research institute. It received full university status in 1985, and it has 13 campuses across the country. KU has over 70,000 students and about 1,500 academic staff.
This school, UoN, and Moi University have the highest student population because they have many colleges and are among the oldest academic institutes in Kenya
3. Strathmore University (SU)
Strathmore is one of the best private universities in Kenya. Established in 1961, SU has been a top provider of all-rounded education in various disciplines of knowledge. Strathmore University uses a triple-helix research cooperation model that helps students engage in research projects become competitive globally.
What is Strathmore University known for? It is one of the best universities in Kenya to pursue business courses because it has a successful accounting program. As a result, Strathmore has produced around 60% of the CPA finalists in Kenya since 2007.
4. United States International University-Africa (USIU)
USIU-A is governed by a board of trustees comprising seven Americans and four top local chief executives. Its board’s current chairman is Dr Chandaria (a British citizen). The board consists of seven Americans, two Ghanaians, and four Kenyans.
The school was initially formed to offer Business Administration, Psychology, and International Relations degree programs but has added more programs. USIU has over 7,000 students, and its film students received eight nominations at the prestigious Kalasha Film and TV Awards’ 2021 edition.
5. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT
The school plays an active role in developing technology and agriculture in the country. JKUAT’s campuses and centres are evenly spread across the country. Its 32 acre-main campus, The Park, constitutes a student population of 29,500 and 2,600 staff. The campus is situated in Juja, 36 kilometres northeast of Nairobi, along the Nairobi-Thika Super Highway.
6. Egerton University
The institution has maintained the position of the premier Agricultural public university in Kenya for decades and broadened its course list. Egerton University now offers more programs, including applied sciences, natural resources, computer science, education, engineering, business studies, and medical sciences.
7. Moi University
The public institute was established in 1984 in Eldoret, Kenya’s fifth-largest city. Moi University has four campuses; the Main Campus, Eldoret West Campus, Town Campus, and Odera Akang’o Campus. The main campus currently has over 52,000 students.
Its notable alumni include the Voice of America’s English news reporter Vincent Makori and politicians Aden Bare Duale, Joshua Kutuny, James Ole Kiyiapi, and Mwangi Kiunjuri.
8. Mount Kenya University (MKU)
MKU is East and Central Africa’s largest private university and one of the few institutes that offer students an opportunity to complete their degree programs faster. In addition, students get exceptions for their previous studies in academic courses approved by the senate.
Educationalist Simon Gicharu is MKU’s founder. Gicharu was born in 1964 in Gathiruini village, Kiambu County. He is the first child in a family of seven.
9. Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA)
The school initially offered a two-year Licentiate/MA program in Theology. Today, it has expanded into a centre of excellence in teaching, research, and learning for more courses.
CUEA offers doctorate, master, undergraduate degree, diploma, and certificate courses in canon law, social justice, ethics, and regional integration and development. It has the Nairobi, Eldoret, and Nairobi campuses.
10. Technical University of Kenya (TU-K)
TU-K closes the list of top ten universities in Kenya and is also one of the oldest public technical institutes in the country. It was established in 1961 in Nairobi city as a TVET. However, the government promoted it into a university in 2012.
The school’s mandate is to offer higher education and research in technology. TU-K offers certificate, diploma, and bachelor’s degree programs for science, technology, engineering, and architecture courses.
11. Maseno University
Maseno University is a public institution established by an Act of Parliament in 1991. From its humble beginnings as a government training institute, Maseno University has become a modern institution of higher education committed to advanced learning and research.
12. Murang’a University of Technology (MUT)
MUT became one of Kenya’s thirty-one (31) chartered public institutes. It has about 10,000 students and 300 administrative staff. The school lies on 60 acres of land, 1.5 km east of Murang’a Town, which is about 85 kilometres North-East of Nairobi city.
13. Africa Nazarene University (ANU)
ANU’s main campus is situated in the middle of the Masaai savannah, on 124 acres (50 ha), near Ongata Rongai. The school is owned by the Church of the Nazarene International, which follows the Wesleyan Holiness Tradition.
The Meru campus is at Harts Towers opposite the Meru police station in Meru town. The Machakos campus is at ABC Imani Plaza in Machakos town, while the Magadi campus is along the Maasai lodge road in Magadi.
14. University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UEAB)
UEAB is an accredited private Christian institution located in Baraton, approximately 315 from Nairobi city and about 50 kilometres from Eldoret, Kenya. University of Eastern Africa, Baraton is a coeducational Seventh-day Adventist institute.
The Nairobi campus is located on Ring Road Kilimani between Argwings Kodhek and Ngong’. UEAB is one of the best institutions for learning biological, agricultural, theology, and religious studies.
15. Kenya Methodist University (KeMU)
The school is owned by the Methodist Church and has campuses in Meru, Nairobi, Nakuru, and Mombasa. It had over 7,000 students by 2017. KeMu corresponds to the educational needs of Kenyans and is the answer to the most demanding areas of the labour force. It has been at the forefront of transforming society by offering high-quality education.
16. University of Embu (UoEm)
UoEm is around 12 years old. It was established in 1947 as an agricultural training school for pre-service training at certificate level but received a charter in 2011 as a non-profit public institute.
The school’s estimated is over 7,000 students, and it has around 400 highly qualified staff. Its teaching concept goes beyond the classroom and syllabus-based learning, thus stimulating and motivating a self-development and life-long education system.
17. St. Paul’s University (SPU)
SPU is another Christian higher-learning institution formed in 1903 through a partnership of the four churches, ACK (50%), PCEA (20%), MCK (10%), RCEA (10%), and NCCK (10%). The main campus is in Limuru, approximately 33 kilometres from Nairobi. It also has campuses in Nairobi, Machakos and Nakuru.
18. Chuka University
Prophetess Jerusha Kanyua foretold an academic mountain sprouting at Ndagani and advised the youths to see a book as a shield and a pen as a spear. The prophecy came true when this public institute was established on 27th September 2004 in Tharaka Nithi County, approximately 186 kilometres from Nairobi along the Nairobi-Meru highway.
The Egerton University Senate elected Prof. Erastus Njoka to chair a technical committee to oversee its establishment. Besides the main campus in Chuka, it has three more branches in Embu, Igembe (Maua), Chogoria & Tharaka (Gatunga)
19. Daystar University
Daystar was initially a non-profit organization offering a five-week International Institute for Christian Communication (IICC) course. It is a Christ-centered, non-denominational institution and one of Kenya’s most expensive private universities in Kenya.
The Nairobi Campus is at Valley Road and Ngong Road, about four kilometres from the city centre. Before building the Athi River campus, the Valley Road branch was the original main campus, 40 kilometres from Nairobi CBD. The new campus is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and has room for expansion.
20. Multimedia University of Kenya (MMU)
MMU’s main campus is on a 115 hectares piece of land 25 kilometres south of Nairobi along Magadi road, a kilometre away from Ongata Rongai. The main campus has about 3,610 students, while the Nairobi CBD campus at Uniafric House-Loita Street, 4th Floor, has about 100 students undertaking certificates, diplomas and degree programs.
Best Kenyan universities and colleges
Universities and colleges in Kenya have a good reputation worldwide. They are highly ranked among international schools and institutions because of quality teaching and excellent research. Hence, they attract the smartest scholars globally. Other top 100 Kenyan higher-learning institutes include:
- Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology
- Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology
- South Eastern Kenya University
- KCA University
- Riara University
- Kabarak University
- Pwani University
- Amref International University
- The Co-operative University of Kenya
- Kisii University
- Garissa University
- Pan Africa Christian University
- Machakos University
- University of Eldoret
- Africa International University
- Management University of Africa
- Karatina University
- Maasai Mara University
- Technical University of Mombasa
- Meru University of Science and Technology
- Dedan Kimathi University of Technology
- The Presbyterian University of East Africa
- Kibabii University
- Adventist University of Africa
- KAG East University
- Zetech University
- University of Kabianga
- Laikipia University
- International Leadership University, Kenya
- Umma University
- Great Lakes University of Kisumu
- Rongo University
- Kirinyaga University
- Gretsa University
- Taita Taveta University
- Scott Christian University
- The East African University
- Kiriri Women’s University of Science and Technology
- Pioneer International University
- Kenya Highlands University
- Lukenya University
- RAF International University
- Tangaza University College
- Adventist University of Africa
- Inoorero University
- GENCO University
- Kenya Medical Training College
- Eregi Teachers’ Training College
- International School of Kenya
- Kenya Institute of Management
- Presbyterian Teachers College Rubate
- Kenya Institute of Mass Communication Nairobi
- African Institute of Research and Development Studies
- Uzima University College
- Hi-tec Institute of Professional Studies
- Nairobi Technical Training Institute
- Rift Valley Institute of Science & Technology Nakuru
- Thogoto Teachers Training College
- Machakos Institute of Technology
- Railway Training Institute Nairobi
- Maua Methodist Hospital School of Nursing
- Kaimosi Teachers Training College
- Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology
- Kenya Utalii College Nairobi
- Kenya Technical Teachers College Gigiri
- Asumbi Teachers Training College
- Kibabii Diploma Teachers Training College
- Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology
- Kenya Aeronautical College Nairobi
- Kisumu Polytechnic Makasembo
- Tambach Teachers Training College
- Nakuru Teachers Training College
- St. Elizabeth School of Nursing, Mukumu, Kakamega
- West Rift Aviation Limited
- Kenya Christian Industrial Training Institute
- Kaiboi Technical Training Institute
- East Africa School of Theology
- Mosoriot Teachers Training College
- Tenwek School of Nursing, Bomet
- Capital Connect Aviation
- Baringo Teachers Training College
- Thika School of Medical and Health Sciences
- Machakos Teachers Training College
- P.C.E.A. Tumutumu Hospital
- Kilimambogo Teachers Training C
- East African School of Aviation
- Thika School of Medical and Health Sciences
- Proactive Air Services
- Shanzu Teachers Training College
- Nazareth Medical College
- Kendu Mission Hospital
- KQ Pride Center
- Ninety-Nines Flying School
- Waka CMEC Training Institute
- Skylink Flying School
- Outspan Medical College
- Flight Training Center
- Kenya School of Flying
- Kijabe School Of Nursing
- Matric Institute of Professional Studies