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, making it easier for lecturers to pay personal attention to the students. They also invest heavily in 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 a variety of programs.

List of the Top 10 Best Private Universities in Kenya

Institution Global ranking Common courses
Strathmore university 4083 Android development
Daystar university 6451 Community development
St. Paul’s university 6666 Communication
Business administration and management
United States International University Africa 6126 International relations
Hotel and restaurant management
Mount Kenya University 7265 Actuarial science
Business information technology
Environmental science
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa 6803 Church management and leadership
Development studies
Philosophy and anthropology
Africa Nazarene University 13207 Peace and conflict resolution studies
Natural resource management
Kenya Methodist University 9581 Medicine and Surgery
Human nutrition and dietetics
Kabarak University 9441 Economics and mathematics
Computer science
University of Eastern Africa, Baraton 13972 Networks 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., certificates, diplomas, and associate degrees) and bachelor’s degrees. The institution also provides master’s and doctorate degrees in various areas of study.

Strathmore allows international students 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, they set up the main campus 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 local and regional giants.

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 socially relevant education focusing on each student’s whole person.

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

4. United States International University Africa

USIU is an international private university. It is accredited by Commission for University Education (CUE), Kenya.

The institution is located in Kasarani, off Thika Road, in the suburb of Nairobi. USIU has 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 worldwide.

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.

Prof. Simon N. Gicharu founded it. 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. 

MKU has a flexible learning mode 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 the church and 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 worldwide. The university is located along Magadi road in Nairobi.

It has a population of about 4,000 students. The institution offers programs that 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 Ph.D., master’s, 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 of Nakuru town, along Nakuru- Eldama Ravine highway.

It is not just like any other university. The late President envisioned setting up a Christian institution that offers quality education based on strong 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 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 the 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 of 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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