The Top 10 Public Universities in Kenya


It’s no secret that education has the power to change lives. It’s a vital tool to the future of any society. On the other hand, employers are continually looking for people with skills and experience to flourish in the coming centuries. Before the 1950s, Kenya had no private or public universities.

Thousands of people are continually applying for universities and colleges every year. Most of them consider choosing nearby institutions while others select institutions of higher education in Kenya depending on their ranks.

The Best Public Universities in Kenya

Institution Global Ranking (Webometrics) Common Courses Vice Chancellor
University of Nairobi 1019 -Medicine
Stephen Kiama
Kenyatta University 1675 -Education
Paul Wainaina
JKUAT 2561 -Technology
Victoria Wambui Ngumi
Moi University 2166 -Law
Isaac Sanga Kosgey
Egerton university 1820 -Agriculture
Rose Mwonya
TUK 6206 -Engineering
-Computer Science
Francis Aduol Odhiambo
Maseno University 4167 -Technology
Julius Omondi Nyabundi
MMUST 4980 -Art
Solomon Igosangwa Shibairo
Murang’a University 5065 -Technology
Justin Irina
Machakos University 7716 -Sciences
Lucy W. Irungu
List of the top public universities in Kenya

1. University Of Nairobi

The University of Nairobi was established in 1970 as a non-profit educational institution. It’s found within the CBD of the capital city.

UoN, as commonly known, has branch campuses all over the country. It’s fully recognized and accredited by the Commission for University Education in Kenya.

It’s the largest and the oldest university in Kenya and has grown to be a center of excellence.

It ranks top due to the specialist programs in Technology, humanities, arts, applied sciences, and social sciences that add up to 900 programs. The total student population is currently over 100,000.

Also, the university has various slots for international applicants.

2. Kenyatta University (KU)

Founded in 1985, KU has been one of the best higher learning institutions in Kenya. It also serves as the best research center in the country after UoN.

KU delivers marketable courses that attract students more so those who want to be competitive globally.

Furthermore, Kenyatta University has established significant links with the top industrial powers. This is to guide the professional and practical requirements required to build the best courses within the institution.

The establishment of a public hospital has also boosted the university’s authority in medical courses.

3. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

It’s a chartered and a non-profit university that was established in 1994. It’s located around the suburban setting of the capital.

JKUAT hosts around 30,000 students with branch campuses located all over from Mombasa, Kisii to Arusha, Tanzania.

JKUAT has played a significant role in Kenya’s higher education. Currently, it participates in an active role in the development of agriculture and technology in the country. The university launched Taifa Laptops in 2015.

4. Moi University

Moi University (MU) is a Kenyan public university that was established in 1984 (Moi University Act, 1984). It was ranked as the second public university in Kenya.

The institution is located in Uasin Gishu County and is pivotal in nurturing talent and innovation in science and technology.

MU hosts over 25,000 degree students undertaking 202 different programs within the campuses located all over the nation.

It boasts of delivering quality research, teaching, and training. The university does this by providing a conducive learning and working environment.

Moi University fosters a culture of peace, meritocracy, equality, social justice, and integrity.

5. Egerton University

The school was founded in 1939. It started as an agricultural college. Since then, Egerton University has maintained its position as the best agricultural institution in Kenya.

It is the premier agricultural university in Kenya. Egerton is located in Nakuru County, only 27 kilometers from Lake Nakuru, home of beautiful flamingos.

It has three colleges: the Nairobi City Campus, Kenyatta Campus, and Nakuru Town Campus. Currently, the institution hosts approximately 19,000 students and graduates, with over 3000 candidates yearly.

It is among the top public universities in Kenya. It has a broad list of courses, including agriculture, computer science, engineering, education, medical sciences, business studies, and others.

6. Technical University of Kenya

Famously known as TUK, this is the oldest technical institution in Kenya. Before it was officially launched as TUK in 2012, the institution served as a polytechnic university college. Currently, it has a mandate in the provision of technology research.

TUK is among the best public universities in Kenya that offers engineering and architectural courses. It’s located in Nairobi and accommodates more than 23,000 students who enroll for bachelor’s degree programs, diplomas, and certificates.

7. Maseno University

A chartered public university that was established in 1991 by an Act of Parliament. Since its inception as a training institute, Maseno University has become a modern public institution of higher education.

It’s located in Kisumu County, and the institution is committed to research, advanced learning, and development. Furthermore, it provides numerous programs that respond to the state’s technological, innovation, and socio-economic needs.

Currently, the institution hosts an average number of 21,000 students registered in the three branch Campuses: the Homa Bay Campus, the Kisumu City Campus, and the Main Campus.

8. Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology

Located at the heart of Kakamega town, MMUST is one of the best public universities in Western Kenya. The institution specializes in science and technology courses but also offers education, and art, among others.

The university was fully accredited in 2007. It has campuses in Nairobi, Webuye, and Budalangi. Previously, it was known as the Western University College of Science and Technology. It was a constituent of Moi University before accreditation.

9. Muranga University

The university is located near Murang’a town. It was formerly Murang’a University College, a constituent of JKUAT. The institution has a student population of close to 5,000 students. It is the only public university in Murang’a county.

The tertiary institution offers business, technology, engineering, and applied sciences courses. Apart from degree courses, Murang’a University also offers diploma and certificate courses. The institution has played a major role in the growth of the town.

10. Machakos University

Founded in 1957, Machakos University started as a Rural Training Institute. In 1958, it was changed to Machakos Technical and Trade school. It was later upgraded to a learning institution in Kenya on 16th September 2011.

Machakos University currently has eight schools, hosts around 9,000 students, and ranks among the top 10,000 universities globally.

In conclusion, education is a great agent to change. It upgrades livelihoods and health and plays a significant role in driving long-term economic growth.

Public university rankings in Kenya allow you to decide your next study destination. The list does not mean other universities are bad; they also rank in particular fields.

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