NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – A new study released on Thursday has for the first time shown the population of foreign students in Kenyan universities and why they chose them.
The study by CPS International company listed Nairobi University as having the highest number of foreign students at 1,300 followed by United States International University (USIU) with 1,100 and Strathmore with 660.
Mount Kenya University is ranked fourth with 560 followed by Kenyatta University with 472 foreign students and Moi University with 322.
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) was ranked at position 7 with 300, followed closely by Catholic University of Eastern Africa with 250, f9ollowed by Egerton University with 130 and Maseno University was at number 10 with 119 international students.
CPS lead researcher Herman Manyora, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said Kenyan Universities ought to do more and develop friendly education policies to attract more international students.
“We must make Nairobi the hub for the region that if you have not been to Nairobi for education you are nothing, if you are in Namibia or Malawi, you aspire your son or daughter to attend a university in Kenya. We need to make this happen and Universities need to be more creative to make it happen,” Manyora said during the release of the research findings.
Manyora said there was need for universities to set up international desks in their respective campuses to help foreign students with any information that they may require as well as set up research centers and market their courses beyond East Africa.
“Exchange programs are another thing that universities must enter in. Market-oriented programs and tailor-made programs is a must. We must think of how we will tailor-make programs for foreigners. Let people come from Botswana or any other country for a certificate or a degree program that meets the labor industry in that country,” he advised.
He stated that for more international students to choose Kenya as their country of study the government should ensure that there is political stability and that riots and unrest among university students are minimized.
There is also need for international students to be profiled as Kenya’s global ambassadors in their respective countries and the need for government to ensure that there are moderate terms of admission.
Manyora said there is also need to support and develop sophisticated e-learning platforms within universities, a lesson that was derived from COVID 19 pandemic.
The study which was conducted between January and February this year showed some of the factors that international students consider in choosing their university of choice include reputation and ranking, duration of the courses, national security, cost of living, and ease of migration rules.
Other factors include clearly defined academic calendars, cost of programs/college fee, ease of getting accommodation, availability of international students support desk, availability of scholarships, people’s culture at country of study and ease of getting employed among others.
CPS Research International is a Market and Social research company registered in Kenya with a niche for specialized research in Africa.
The company specializes in detailed research in social, cultural, educational and economic state of affairs in Africa.