President William Ruto has rolled out plans to unveil the National Open University of Kenya which will offer affordable courses.
Ruto's plan to open the one-of-a-kind institution of higher learning received a shot in the arm after the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms on October 18, called for reviews over the operationalization of the institution.
The special university is intended to offer online degree courses to Kenyans at an affordable rate.
It is also intended that the university will target Kenyans who have other engagements as the institution will offer courses on a part-time basis.
However, the amount of money to be charged by the institution is yet to be known.
Notably, the university that offers virtual learning was one of the promises Ruto made during campaigns in the run up to the August 9 polls.
During the signing of the Kenya Kwanza Education Charter in June, Ruto indicated that his government would prioritise operationalising the institution in his first 100 days in office.
"We undertake that the university which will improve access to university education will be set in our first 100 days.
"As Kenya Kwanza, we believe that we can offer a course that is virtual, accessible and that will give people an opportunity to people even who are not at a student going age at a most effective way," he stated then.
However, the conceptualisation of the institution of higher learning dates back to President Mwai Kibaki's administration in 2010 - a time when Ruto was the higher education minister.
Proposals of the same were made during President Uhuru Kenyatta's time by outgoing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i while serving in the education docket. However, the plans failed to kick start.
"The Kenya open university will play a pivotal role. I signed a cabinet memo in 2010 to start the university," Ruto stated then.
Other countries such as the United Kingdom and Tanzania have open universities with technological courses being prioritised.
The process to launch the institution barely came amidst proposals to increase fees charged by universities to finance their expenditure.
Outgoing Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha opined that the Ksh16,000 set by the government was outdated.
"The Ksh16,000 was created over 30 years ago, and please, let us be realistic. The value of Ksh16,000 at the time is about Ksh100,000 today (as per inflation rates)," he stated.