Cheaper fees for degree courses at Open University of Kenya.

The Open University of Kenya (OuK) is in the process of putting a smile in the faces of learners by planning to offer five degree courses at nearly half the fees charged by public and private universities.

The OuK was given a charter on August 3 by President William Ruto and will offer online classes.

Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) has now opened its portal for students to make applications.

A communique by the placement body says that the institution will offer five undergraduate courses.

These are Bachelor of Data Science, Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, Bachelor of Business and Entrepreneurship and Bachelor of Economics and Statistics all which will charge annual tuition fees of Sh105,000. The Bachelor of Technology Education will be billed at Sh115,000.

Similar programmes in other public and private universities will be offered at between Sh179,290 and Sh306,000.

The tuition fees shows that whereas a bachelor of cyber security and digital forensics costs Sh105,000 at OuK, a similar course at Kabarak University costs Sh190,035 while at Meru University it is Sh244,800.

Bachelor of Business and Entrepreneurship will cost Sh224,570 at Karatina University, Sh204,000 at the Maasai Mara University and Sh206,635 at Kisii University.

The most expensive course at the Open University will be Bachelor of Technology Education that will be billed at Sh115,000. The degree is offered in two other institutions.

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and Murang’a University both charge Sh244,800 for the same degree programme.

For OuK Bachelor of Economics and Statistics offered at Sh105,000, the same is charged 270,900 at Egerton University. It will cost Sh259,335 at Kisii University, Sh223,550 at the University of Nairobi, Sh204,000 at Maasai Mara University and Sh183,600 at the Machakos University.

During the launch of OuK, President Ruto noted that courses in the institutions will cost half the amount other universities charge.

“Nothing says bottom-up better than an open university that gives everybody a chance,” the president noted.

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Dr Ruto noted that the institution will give opportunity to ordinary people who otherwise would not be able to attend higher education.

KUCCPS said that the university will also have flexibility in fees payment.

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This will be done through an option for students to pay for individual units if they are not able to pay for the full annual fees.

“At Open University, learners have the flexibility to pay and pursue individual course units at a cost Sh10,000 per unit. This option is applicable to both the bachelor’s degree and postgraduate diploma programmes on offer,” the statement reads.

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 an alternative flexible mode.

The minimum admission requirements for the undergraduate courses include evidence of KCSE certificate or equivalent and a portfolio for recognition of prior learning.

A mean grade of C+(plus) and above at KCSE where applicable or its equivalent using criteria that the university senate may determine.

According to the placement body, the admission requirement will be flexible as it will look at the applicant’s work experience, short courses or recognition of prior  learning seekig to pursue degree programmes.

“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 KUCCPS statement reads.

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