Kenya announces bold plans to reach 30,000 international students

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) is developing a policy to help the country attract international students from across Africa and turn it into a regional higher education hub – a position currently held by South Africa which admits thousands of international students each year. South Africa is currently the top international student destination in Africa with a total of 45,142 students, compared to Kenya’s 4,782 according to UNESCO figures.

The KNQA wants universities in partnership with government agencies to initiate a number of measures that would make Kenya more attractive, including upgrading accommodation facilities, setting out clearly defined academic calendars, and establishing international student directorates to assist learners

KNQA director general and CEO, Eusebius Mukhwana said new policies including making it easier for students to acquire and renew their visas were required. He said the plan aims to ensure that Kenya grows its international student numbers from around 5,000 to 30,000 over five years by targeting students from regional countries Somalia, South Sudan and Tanzania, among others.

To actualise the ambition, he disclosed that the KNQA was planning to assemble a joint committee of its staff, colleges, immigration authorities and security agencies to help design policies that would help accelerate the mobility plan.