Education CS Ezekiel Machogu on Monday, January 9 began a consultative process in readiness for the establishment of the National Open University.
Machogu revealed this during a meeting with university education stakeholders at his Jogoo House office in Nairobi.
"Globally, countries have adopted Open Learning which makes education more affordable, accessible, and attainable to all students, no matter their location or income level," he revealed.
In October 2022, President William Ruto directed the education review team to recommend criteria to implement the operationalization of an open university in Kenya.
According to the Presidential directive, the review team was expected to recommend a framework of operationalizing the National Open University of Kenya and a framework on Open, Distance, and E-line learning (ODEL).
The university is set to target Kenyans who can not partake in a full-time course as it will offer courses on a part-time basis.
Notably, the virtual learning university was one of the promises Ruto made during the campaign leading up to his victory in 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," the then Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate stated.
However, the conception of the university dates back to the administration of the late President Mwai Kibaki in 2010, when Ruto was the minister for higher education.
It was during his tenure at the ministry that Ruto proposed the amendment of the Universities Act, of 2012, to allow the transfer of management of universities.
This included hiring from the public service and putting in place legislative, policy, and budgetary measures to address the current financial crunch in public universities.
During former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, former Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i made similar proposals while serving in the education docket but did not manage to get it off the ground before being transferred out of the ministry.