Earlier this week, on September 22nd, Simon Nabukwesi, principal secretary in the Ministry of Education’s State Department for University Education and Research, announced that the country has seen a rise in the number of international students applying for admission.
Nabukwesi attributed the upward trend in admissions to the stellar work of Kenyan professionals overseas during his keynote address at the First International Annual Conference for Public Universities.
He went on to say that the recent Supreme Court judgement, in which Kenyan lawyers showed their expertise and justices upheld a high level of professionalism, had bolstered the trend and set a precedent for the entire region.
“Recently our lawyers performed very well at the Supreme Court and now everyone across the region wants to bring their children to learn here in Kenya,” Nabukwesi explained.
“They are attracted by the high performance of our professionals which has now been recognized across the borders,” he added.
Nabukwesi further validated his comments by elaborating on the fact that Kenyan students who are now studying overseas have continued to impress, hence elevating the stakes of the education system in the country.
“Many of our Kenyan students who go out for further studies are top performers. A clear indication that at the basic level starting from secondary education to first degree they get competencies and skills required to be globally competitive,” the PS remarked.
However, he emphasized the importance of reforming the systems, notably in universities, to provide students with marketable skills upon graduation.
According to the projections made by UNESCO for the year 2019, the total number of international students in the country was 4,782.
It reached 6,202 in the 2020–2021 period. Market and social research firm CPS Research Overseas found that of all universities in Kenya, The University of Nairobi has the largest number of international students at nearly 1,300.
The United States International University in Africa (USIU-Africa) came in second with 1,100 students, followed by Strathmore University (660) and Mount Kenya University (MKU) (570).
Plans to raise national enrolment and admittance to over 30,000 were previously stated by the government. The government devised grand schemes to increase enrollment, such as offering visa subsidies, reducing housing costs, and harmonizing tuition rates among institutions.
“We want to get to a level where our universities are more competitive globally to attract students from across the world,” Nabukwesi responded on the plans to increase admissions.