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Author: Rebecca Simson, J. Andrew Harris
Until the 1990s Kenya had a selective state-financed university system where students bore few educational costs. This limited the number of university students that the government could afford to educate and created fierce competition for university places. In the late 1990s the Kenyan government responded to this supply crisis by liberalizing the tertiary sector, and public universities began to establish parallel, fee-paying programmes, for which applicants had to meet only minimum entry requirements, alongside the selective state-sponsored programmes. Critics have worried that these privately funded university tracks have enabled lower performing students from richer families, who could pay full fees, to enter Kenya’s most competitive public universities. Others have posited the opposite, that restrictive, even if ostensibly free, higher education is more easily captured by children of the existing elite. This paper brings new empirical evidence to these debates by analysing inequalities in university access in Kenya since the 1990s, drawing on census data and a new dataset of all University of Nairobi students.
Author: Ghazala Mir
, Saffron Karlsen, Winnie Mitullah, Upendra Bhojani, Benjamin Uzochukwu, Chinyere Okeke, Tolib Mirzoev, Bassey Ebenso, Naila Dracup and Gary Dymski, Doan Thi Thuy Duong, Bui Thi Thu Ha, Steve Ouma, Felicia Onibon, Joyce Ogwezi, Shahab Adris
Social inequalities are intensifying globally and widening divisions are linked to civil unrest. Disadvantaged ethnic and religious groups experience poor access to, representation in and outcomes from public services such as healthcare and education. As mechanisms for social participation and citizenship, public services are key to inclusive and sustainable societies.