Challenges facing university education in Kenya

The frequent student unrest is an indirect effect of the poor conditions in Kenyan universities. This means that students are often protesting about tuition fee increases, or other university policies such as no visiting of the opposite gender hostels past a certain time.

This affects us as we have to miss classes sometimes as much as one full academic year.

The solution to this problem would be for the administration to engage students through our student unions by facilitating a dialogue with us, and listening to our needs.

Lack of Job opportunities

The country has been producing more graduates than the industry can absorb, and as a result many students graduate without gainful employment or any prospects for future success.

These grads are forced to take jobs that they do not want and at salaries which are too low for their qualifications, or they remain unemployed.

The solution is to create more job opportunities in Kenya by investing more heavily into the country’s infrastructure projects so that there will be a need for new employees with higher skills.

Lack of quality learning

Learning in universities has turned to just passing exams instead of learning practical skills that are required in the workplaces. Most students write ‘Mwakenyas’ for the sole purpose of passing exams. Once an exam is done. the course content is long forgotten and on to the next one.

The solution is for universities to offer courses that will equip students with skills that are needed in the real world. This can be achieved by:

  • Offering more practical, hands on learning opportunities and assignments
  • Sending lecturers into industry to gain experience which they then bring back into lecture rooms
  • Encouraging collaboration between universities so as to exchange worthwhile ideas.
  • Restructuring the curriculum so that it is more cohesive and includes all aspects of business, not just one discipline at a time.
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The plans are quite ambitious as they require cooperation on an national level but if successful could be a key part in solving global issues such as unemployment.

Limited educational resources

Kenya’s universities are struggling to meet demand due to limited educational resources. In most universities, the country’s limited number of qualified lecturers are teaching up to six times the amount of students they were originally contracted for.

The University of Nairobi is one institution that has come under scrutiny, with both staff and students criticizing its lack of resources and overcrowding which can push class sizes over 100 in some departments.

This is one of the most significant challenges facing universities in Kenya and it has been exacerbated by a lack of financial support for higher education from the government.

Social Vices

Social issues such as drugs and substance abuse and alcoholism have contributed to a higher drop-out rate of students, with some citing these as the reason for their poor performance.

This is an issue that can be addressed through counselling and awareness raising campaigns. University administrations must also be aware of this problem and put in place measures such as stricter drug policies or alcohol bans to curb its proliferation on campus premises.

Lack of internship

Before graduating we are all required to undergo internship or an attachment in a business setting. Unless you have connections this is hard to come by. This results to students not graduating on time.

A solution to this is to provide students with a list of potential places to do internships or attachments. The university can also set up partnerships with various companies and organizations so that they have an active internship program in place for their students.

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With the future of our country at stake, we need to act now for a brighter tomorrow. This is not just an issue that universities have to deal with; it’s one that every Kenyan citizen should be invested in. Our government and private sector leaders must work together to address these challenges if we want Kenya’s next generation to enter into an economy where they can thrive and compete globally.

I hope you agree with me on this matter and will also do your part by becoming more actively involved in education policy discussions happening right here in your own backyard – even if it’s just sharing articles like this one with others who care about the future of Kenya!

Let us know how you feel about these challenges facing university education in Kenya.

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