The directorate of Higher Education in Kenya caters for secondary school education, tertiary colleges and universities. Its main objective is to increase access and and reduce high cost of secondary education. It has also mandate to improve the equality of management capacity and secondary schools in conjunction with the CHE and HELB, the directorate coordinates university education policies. It has also the mandate to ensure gender equity in higher education.
Higher Education in Kenya
Higher Education in Kenya started in 1947 with the British colonial government’s plan to build a technical and commercial institute in Nairobi. But it was not until 1951 when a Royal Charter was granted for the establishment of the Royal Technical College of East Africa.
However, the Asian community in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda had proposed to build a college in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. To avoid duplication, the Gandhi Memorial Academy Society agreed to merge its interests with those of the colonial government to set up the Royal Technical College of East Africa.
The ﬁrst students joined in 1956. In 1961, the Royal Technical College became the second university college in East Africa — Royal College Nairobi. In I964, it was renamed University College of Nairobi a constituent of the University of East Africa which had been inaugurated in 1963. Other constituent colleges were Makerere University College in Uganda and University College, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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The University of East Africa was dissolved in 1970 and the three East African States set up national universities. This led to the birth of the University of Nairobi. The university’s enrolment increased to 9,000 in 1984. By then, it had two constituent colleges, Kenyatta and Egerton, which were later elevate to the university status in 1985 and1987 respectively.
Moi University, Kenya’s second university, opened its doors in 1984.Enrolment in the four public universities increased to about 20,000 by 1989/90. But with the double intake of 1990a when the ﬁrst graduates of the 8-4-4 system of education. The last ‘A’ level group joined university together enrolment increased to 41,000.
This led to the establishment Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in 1991 Maseno University in 2000 and the Western University College of Science and Applied Technology in 2002. Between 1970 and 1984 , 10 private universities were established. By 1995, they had increased to 12 with an enrolment of more than 4,000. Public universities were allowed to introduce Module II degree programmes, popularly known as parallel degree programme , which target public and sector employees and school