President William Ruto on Thursday awarded a charter to the Open University of Kenya (OUK) in Konza, the first virtual university in Kenya, at the varsity’s grounds in Konza Technopolis City in Machakos County.
The Open University will provide distance learning, allowing students to enroll in academic programs from the comfort of their homes.
“In accordance with the requirements of the law, I William Samoei Ruto, the President of Kenya and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces, satisfied that the awarding of charter to the Open University of Kenya will be of benefit to the advancement of the University Education in Kenya,” Ruto said.
Some of the degrees and diplomas to be offered at the institution include cyber security and digital forensics, technology education, business and entrepreneurship, data science, economics, statistics, agriculture technology, and food systems.
The digital university will admit its first cohort of students from next month and is expected to charge between Sh10,400 and Sh10,900 per module, depending on the course. Post-diploma courses had been projected to cost Sh130,000 per year in a report presented by the technical committee that drafted the road map for its establishment.
However, at the OUK, the total number of modules taken by a full-time student will be between four and six.
President Ruto said he had developed a framework with newly appointed chancellor James Mwangi to reduce training costs to a quarter of what conventional institutions charge. He added that the move would open up access to university education to those who cannot afford to abandon their other interests in order to pursue it.
The Open University of Kenya (OUK) is domiciled within the Konza Technopolis in Machakos and is set to benefit from the government’s investment in Konza phase two. President Ruto said the government had secured up to Sh100 billion from unnamed development partners for the next five years.
The Head of State was accompanied by Governor Mutula Kilonzo, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, and CS Davis Chirchir among other leaders.
Equity CEO James Mwangi has been appointed chancellor of the University.