Know new courses offered at Open University of Kenya

By Victor Ochieng’

In the recent past, the President William Ruto awarded a charter to the 42nd public university – Open University of Kenya (OUK). It was a monumental milestone as the move underscored the essence of Open and E-learning in enhancing access to higher education. It marked flexible access to quality and relevant programmes also deemed as cost-effective.

OUK admitted its maiden cohort of students to its virtual programmes in September 2023. The pioneer programmes were six in total, which included Bachelor of Cyber Security and Digital Forensics; Bachelor of Data Science; Bachelor of Education Technology; Bachelor of Science in Business and Entrepreneurship; Bachelor of Economics and Statistics, and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Food Systems.

Again, there were two post-graduate diplomas Leadership and Accountability as well as Learning Design and Technology. Now, OUK intends to launch 18 new programmes in September 2024. This will bring the total number of programmes on offer in this university to 25. There is Curriculum Development for new programmes, with 90 specialists in various disciplines undertaking the task at the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI).

Ideally, the pioneer programmes abutted more on business and technology courses. Progressively, the new programmes will focus on education. As well as nursing and agriculture. Pundits posit: the new programmes are a recent response to market demands.

Just apprise to you about it. The new courses under the School of Education will include Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology, Master of Technology Education, Post-graduate Diploma in Education, Master in Educational Leadership and Policy and Bachelor of Science in Education (Mathematics and Computer Studies).

Moreover, the School of Business and Economics is poised to offer Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting, Finance, Banking, Insurance, Human Resource Management, Project Management, Marketing, Procurement and Supply Chain Management and Operations and Logistics). In addition, there will also be Bachelor of Economics and Data Science. As well as Master of Business Administration (Accounting and Finance, Human Resource Management, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Strategic Management, Project Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Operations and Logistics Management.


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Ipso facto, the first doctorate programme at the varsity will be Doctor of Philosophy, Business Management (Accounting and Finance, Human Resource Management, Procurement and Supply Chain Management, Marketing Management, Project Management, Strategic Management, Operations and Logistics Management and Entrepreneurship. The School of Agriculture will offer a Bachelor of Science in Agri-Technology and Food Systems.

In the same token, there will be eight new programmes in the School of Science and Technology. These are Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Learning Design and Technology, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Information Technology Enabled Services, Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics and Master of Science in Data Science and Forensics and Business Analytics.

Somewhat, OUK envisions to nurture talents and hone skills. It aims at shaping graduates in a holistic manner. By making them innovative and practical people. OUK will integrate modern technology in order to deliver quality academic programmes and research. Ostensibly, it will break down geographical, economic, and social barriers, which have excluded some students when it comes to access of tertiary education.

Actually, OUK is an online university established to be ‘The innovative university for inclusive prosperity.’ Its physical location will be the Konza Technopolis – Africa’s Silicon Savannah. Then, it will be a button away on the computer, laptop or smart phone. Each student will be a cohort of their own because they will apply whenever they are ready, and will be admitted at their own time.

Students will also request for exams when they are ready. It will be easily accessible from anywhere in the country, and in the comfort of learners’ homes. It is at the heart of the present and the future of the country in everything digital. It will be a great leaver for harnessing dividends of the digital economy. As well as the 4th Industrial Revolution.

In a broader sense, the significance of online learning has gained prominence in this dispensation. It avails infinite spectra for life-long learning and the capacity to draw on digital technology to reach to the marginalised communities, and the working class in Kenya, and beyond. In March 2020, the invasion of Covid-19 pandemic taught us the integral role of online learning. There was the paralysis of education system at all levels.

In September 2022, when Dr. William Ruto came up with the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), key among its terms of reference on tertiary education was to recommend a great framework of operationalising the National Open University of Kenya. Then, the well-thought-out framework on Open, Distance and E-learning (ODEL). Students who have had trouble in accessing tertiary education plus the ones that failed to attain the cut-off points to enroll in universities courses of their choice will have crucial chance to upgrade and climb the lofty ladder of academics.

By Victor Ochieng’

The writer rolls out career talks and training in schools. 0704420232

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