The Best 10 Private Universities in Kenya


Kenya has seen a surge in chartered private universities over the last 10 years. Private universities are considered supreme because of their small class sizes which makes it easier for lecturers to pay personal attention to the students. They also invest heavily on their infrastructure to provide quality programs to the students.

On the other hand, they are considered expensive compared to public universities. Kenya has 33 registered private universities which offer variety of programs.

List of the Top 10 Best Private Universities in Kenya

InstitutionGlobal rankingCommon courses
Strathmore university4083Android development
Daystar university6451Community development
St. Paul’s university6666Communication
Business administration and management
United States International University Africa6126International relations
Hotel and restaurant management
Mount Kenya University7265Actuarial science
Business information technology
Environmental science
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa6803Church management and leadership
Development studies
Philosophy and anthropology
Africa Nazarene University13207Peace and conflict resolution studies
Natural resource management
Kenya Methodist University9581Medicine and surgery
Human nutrition and dietetics
Kabarak University9441Economics and mathematics
Computer science
University of Eastern Africa, Baraton13972Networks and communication systems
Software engineering
Mass communication
The Best Chartered Private Higher Learning Institutions in Kenya

1. Strathmore University

Strathmore university was founded in 2002 as a non-profit private higher education institution in Madaraka Estate, Nairobi. It is officially accredited by Commission for University Education, Kenya. It has a small student population of around 5,000. 

SU offers pre-bachelor degrees (i.e. certificate, diplomas and associate degrees) and bachelor degree. The institution also provides masters and doctorate degrees in various areas of study. Strathmore gives international students an opportunity to apply for enrollment. It is one of the best business universities in Kenya.

2. Daystar University

Nairobi Campus which is approximately 2km from the City Center. It is located at the corner of Ngong’ and Valley roads. Later, the main campus was set up in Athi River, 40km from Nairobi.

 It has a small student population of 2,000 students. The university offers a wide variety of courses starting from certificate level to doctorate degrees. Daystar University takes pride in excellence in sports and clubs (AIESEC, Daystar Mazingira, Afrizo, DCF and Rotaract Club). Their rugby, basketball and hockey teams are giants locally and in the region.

3. St. Paul’s University

SPU is a Christian Chartered private institution of higher learning founded in 1903. The Main Campus is located in Limuru with other campuses in Nairobi, Nakuru and Machakos. It is well known for offering societal relevant education focusing on the whole person of each student.

The university has international recognition. It has over 7,000 students both at the graduate and undergraduate level.

4. United States International University Africa

USIUA is an international private university. It is accredited by Commission for University Education (CUE), Kenya. It is located in Kasarani area, off Thika Road in the suburb of Nairobi with a student population of 7,000. The higher learning institution was established in 1969

The university offers quality international academic programs. The students have exposure to exciting learning experiences and facilities all over the world.

5. Mount Kenya University

The institution was founded in 1996 as Thika Institute of Technology. In late 2000 it was recognized as a fully-fledged institution of higher learning. It was founded by Pof. Simon N. Gicharu. The Main Campus is located in Thika town with other campuses nationwide.

The university is unique in its own way. The Main Campus award-winning university library and imposing Chancellors Tower are some of the institution’s iconic infrastructure. It offers a wide range of professional and academic programs. It has flexible modes of learning such as E-Learning, evening classes, weekend classes and Distance and Institution based E-learning.

6. Catholic University of Eastern Africa

The university was established in 1984 as a multi- campus private university in Lang’ata, Nairobi. It has a branch in Eldoret known as Gaba Campus. Its main purpose is to produce transformative leaders for both the church and the society. Some of the most marketable courses offered in CUEA include church development and leadership studies.

7. Africa Nazarene University

It is a private Christian-founded university established in 1994. It is an affiliate of The Church of the Nazarene colleges and universities around the world. The university is located along Magadi road in Nairobi.

It has a population of about 4,000 students. The institution offers programs which bring Christ-centered academic excellence and transformative leadership.

8. Kenya Methodist University

Another Christian university joins our list of private universities in Kenya. KeMU was established in 1997 as a chartered private university. It is an affiliate of the Methodist Church in Kenya. It has its main campus in Meru and branch campuses in Mombasa and Nairobi.

 The university offers PhD, masters, undergraduate, diploma and certificate programs. It has over 32,000 alumni. It was the first private university to graduate medical doctors.

9. Kabarak University

It was established in October 2002 by the second president of Kenya, the Late Daniel Arap Moi. Kabarak University is located 20km north off Nakuru town, along Nakuru- Eldama Ravine highway.

It is not just like any other university. The late President had a visionary idea of setting up a Christian institution that offer quality education based on string moral values. It has an ultra-modern library with 1,000 seating capacity.

10. University of Eastern Africa, Baraton

The university is a private coeducational Seventh-day Adventist institution located in Nandi County, Kenya. It was founded in 1980 and was the first private university to receive a charter in Kenya on March 28th, 1991.

The university hosts a small population of about 2,000. Foreign students are welcome to enroll in their various programs. It is a member of important bodies such as Inter-University Council for East Africa, the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the Association of African Universities.

Kenya has one of the best private universities in Africa. They attract both domestic and foreign students because of their quality education. If you want a bright future as a student, consider applying for enrollment in one of the top best private universities.They are also a good option for students who do not meet the minimum requirement for public higher learning institutions.

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