Application for admission to the Open University of Kenya began on 28th August 2023 through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) portal.
The Open University of Kenya (OUK) was chartered on 3rd August, 2023 by His Excellency the President, Dr. William Ruto. The university is meant to break conventional barriers and provide opportunities for more Kenyans to access university education in a flexible and convenient manner.
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For the first time in Kenya’s history, work experience, short courses or recognition of prior learning will be considered in admitting learners to pursue degree programmes, according to admission requirements released by the university. It is expected to benefit Kenyans who missed early opportunities or faced barriers such as formal grades, age, capacity to pay, gender or geographical location to access university education, through the flexibility of learning that allows students to learn at their own time, pace and place.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elijah Omwenga, has requested the placement body to list five degree programmes and two postgraduate diploma courses on the student placement application portal. The minimum admission requirements for the undergraduate courses include evidence of KCSE certificate or equivalent and a portfolio for recognition of prior learning.
The undergraduate programmes to be offered are Bachelor of Data Science, Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, Bachelor of Technology Education, Bachelor of Business and Entrepreneurship and Bachelor of Economics and Statistics. The postgraduate programmes will include flagship Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Accountability and Postgraduate Diploma in Learning Design and Technology.
The degree and postgraduate diploma programmes have between 12 and 14 course units per academic year. Learning will take one year for postgraduate programmes while the bachelor’s degree programmes will take four years to complete. However, for open and self-paced learning, a student may decide to take a course unit at a time on the alternative flexible mode and may plan to take longer periods.
To pursue an undergraduate degree at OUK, it will cost Ksh. 105,000, except for Bachelor of Technology Education which will cost KSh. 115,000 per year for full-time study. The cost of pursuing a postgraduate diploma programme is Ksh. 110,000 for the one academic year. The annual cost for studying a degree programme has taken into account a 15% discount that the government negotiated with universities under the new higher education funding model.
At OUK, learners have the flexibility to pay and pursue individual course units at a cost Ksh. 10,000 per unit. This option is applicable to both the bachelor’s degree and postgraduate diploma programmes on offer. For all the programmes or course units, students outside East Africa will pay 10% more.
The minimum entry requirements for Bachelor’s degree programmes are as follows:
- A mean grade of C+ and above at KCSE where applicable or its equivalent using criteria that the university senate may determine OR
- Diplomas or professional qualifications from recognized institutions OR
- KCSE certificate or equivalent and a certificate of foundation or bridging courses from recognized institutions OR
- Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education with a minimum of 1 principal and subsidiary passes OR
- A bachelor’s degree from an institution recognized by Senate, OR
- Evidence of KCSE certificate or equivalent and a portfolio for the purpose of recognition of prior learning determination with respect to:
- Workplace training of 2 years OR
- Work experience in a relevant field of 2 years OR
- Two short courses lasting at least 3 months each in relevant fields OR
- Any other qualifications that may be determined by senate recognizing prior learning leading to equivalents of the identified criteria, experience and skills of learners.
The applications admissible at the KUCCPS portal will be free of charge and without any deadline, according to KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer Dr. Agnes Mercy Wahome. This is due to the uniqueness of the Open University’s mode of learning and flexible modular programme design that will allow students to study at their own pace and convenience. She also added that the Bachelor’s degree applicants are eligible for government scholarships and loans as per the new funding model criteria.
Applicants with KCSE examination qualifications from 1989 to the present can readily apply on the KUCCPS portal through the link https://ouk.kuccps.net. KUCCPS and OUK will provide a platform for those with international and other non-KCSE qualifications to upload their application documents.