A new report that exposes the competitiveness of the institutions of higher learning has ranked Nairobi university as the most attractive institution to foreign students.
Universities’ reputation, global ranking, the cost of programs they taught, quality of education, and ease of accessing accommodation are a few factors that attract foreign students.
Location of the university, type, and course duration, clearly defined academic calendar, cost of living, and availability of international students’ support desk in the respective universities greatly influence foreigners’ choices.
This is according to a report from CPS Research Internationa that was launched yesterday. CPS Research International is a market and social research company registered in Kenya, and which has cut a niche for specialized research in Africa.
“International students preferred some universities to others because of high quality of education, affordability aspects, high global ranking, great culture, holistic education, good placement, and internship offers,” reads the report.
Overall, the state of national security, immigration rules, the culture of a country, and ease of getting employed impact students’ choice to study in Kenya.
The University of Nairobi has the highest number of foreigners, with nearly 1,300 international students enrolled. There are 6,202 foreign students in Kenyan universities.
United States International University (USIU) is 2nd with 1,100 students, Strathmore University 3rd with 660 while Mount Kenya University (MKU) is 4th with 560 such learners.
Kenyatta University closes the top 5universities with international appeal with 472 students enrolled.
Moi University is 6th with 322, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) with 300, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) is 8th with 255 while Egerton University is at position nine with 130 foreign learners. Maseno University is at position 10 with 119 students.
The research that was conducted between January and February targeted international university students and administrators in 71 learning institutions.
In terms of countries, Ugandans constitute the highest number of foreign students in the mentioned institutions followed by South Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, and Nigeria consecutively.
The others are spread across Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
“Most of them are young adults in the age bracket of 18-24 years at 54.1 percent, and undertaking undergraduate courses,” reads the report.
Most of these students study business and economics, engineering, medical studies, teacher training and education, natural science, and ICT courses. Law and other social and behavioral sciences, humanities, media, and journalism are some of the other courses of study.
The research is expected to shape how the universities will position themselves in the globally competitive education field.
With a projected increase in international student numbers to 8 million by 2025, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the value of attracting international students to host economies remains high.
Five most suitable choices
According to the statistics, the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University, JKUAT, and Egerton University are the top five best choices for international students.
In the private universities category, the foreigners prefer USIU, Strathmore University, Mount Kenya University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, and the Management University of Africa.
In terms of satisfaction, the students enrolled in Strathmore were the happiest at 65.05 percent followed by those in the University of Nairobi at 63.05 percent.
Students at Kenyatta University were third-most satisfied (62.05 percent), followed by Aga Khan University at 57.05 percent. MKU was ranked 4th at 57.05 percent, followed by USIU at 54.05 percent. JKUAT (51.85 percent), Egerton University (50.35 percent), Africa Nazarene University (50.05 percent), and Moi University (44.05 percent).