Top 15 Best Public Universities in Kenya 2023

Discover the best public universities in Kenya for academic excellence and career opportunities. Read our comprehensive guide now

Jun 20, 2023 - 17:50
Jun 20, 2023 - 17:53
Top 15 Best Public Universities in Kenya 2023
Top 15 Best Public Universities in Kenya 2023: Providing Quality Education for a Bright Future

Education is essential to change lives and influence society's future. Numerous public institutions in Kenya provide top-notch academic programs, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a supportive environment for studying. These universities' ranking is based on alumni employability, research projects, learning resources, student population, and global reputation. The top 15 public universities will be discussed in this article, along with their salient characteristics and contributions to the field of education.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

  • Location: Juja, Kiambu County 

Jomo Kenyatta University is a public university in Juja, 36 kilometers northeast of Nairobi. Jomo Kenyatta University contributes to Kenya's technological and agricultural development through its branches nationwide.JKUAT offers students a comprehensive education that gives them the knowledge and skills necessary for the country's development.

University of Embu

  • Location: Embu

The University of Embu is a higher education facility in Kenya that was established in the year 2011. The University of Embu was ranked as Kenya's best-performing university for the academic years 2021 and 2022. The University offers courses and programs contributing to higher education degrees that are officially recognized in several fields of study. The university offers various programs at Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor’, Masters and Doctoral level. 

Nairobi University 

  • Location: Nairobi County

The University was established in 1970and it is one of Kenya's best public universities.  It is a non-profit institution that offers excellent education in a city atmosphere. It has its colleges spread across the country. The university takes pride in its contribution to the development of Kenya's workforce and ranks among the top higher learning institutions in East Africa.

Maseno University

  • Location: Kisumu County

 This University was founded in 1991. It is the best center for innovative education and research. This university offers various academic programs that help students develop into highly qualified professionals. Maseno University continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the educational landscape of Kenya.

Kenyatta University 

  • Location: Nairobi County

 Kenyatta University is among Kenya's largest and most reputable public research universities. With its establishment in 1985, KU has been committed to providing quality education in a suburban setting. The university boasts multiple campuses across various locations, including Mombasa, Kitui, Nakuru, and more. Kenyatta University's 90-100% admission rate reflects its accessibility to students from diverse backgrounds.

Egerton University

  • Location: Njoro

Established in 1939, Egerton University holds a prestigious position as Kenya's premier agricultural public university. Over the years, it has expanded its course offerings beyond agriculture to encompass applied sciences, natural resources, computer science, education, engineering, business studies, and medical sciences. Located in Njoro, Egerton University symbolizes agricultural and multidisciplinary education excellence.

Moi University

  • Location: Eldoret 

Established in 1984, Moi University has emerged as a renowned public institution in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county.  The university, guided by the Moi University Act, has witnessed significant growth and currently enrolls over 52,000 students. Moi University's campuses, including the Main Campus, Eldoret West Campus, Town Campus, and Odera Akang'o Campus, offer diverse educational opportunities to students.

Technical University of Kenya 

  • Location: Nairobi County

 The Technical University of Kenya, located in Nairobi, specializes in engineering and architectural courses. Initially serving as a polytechnic college, TUK transitioned into a full-fledged university in 2012. Today, it accommodates over 23,000 students pursuing bachelor's degree programs, diplomas, and certificates. TUK focuses on technical innovation and research to fulfill the demands of a rapidly changing world.

Chuka University

  • Location: Chuka Town, Tharaka Nithi County

 Chuka University, located in Chuka Town, is a notable public university offering diverse academic programs.  The university is dedicated to providing high-quality education and research through the outstanding academic and non-academic services it offers to students. Chuka University keeps fostering young minds and equipping them for success in their specialized industries.

Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology

Location: Kakamega County

In Western Kenya, MMUST is among the top state universities. Science and technology courses are the institution's area of expertise. However, it also offers education and art. In 2007, the university received full accreditation. It has campuses at Budalangi, Webuye, and Nairobi. It was initially called the western university college. It was a branch of Moi University before its accreditation.

Dedan Kimathi University of Technology

  • Location: Nyeri

The Dedan Kimathi University is a public higher education university in Nyeri. It was initially a branch of Jomo Kenyatta University since the year 2007 until it was accredited to become a public university on December 14, 2012

Kisii University

  • Location: Kisii

 Kisii University, situated in the vibrant town of Kisii, is another renowned public institution in Kenya. It offers several courses, including science and technology, education, art and business, and economics. Kisii University is dedicated to innovation, offering research and teaching services to students.

Machakos University

  • Location: Machakos

Machakos University is a public institution committed to providing students with an outstanding educational experience. The institution offers several academic programs that give students adequate knowledge and abilities to excel in their career paths. Machakos University's dedication to academic excellence and holistic development has made it a prominent player in Kenyan higher education.

Karatina University

  • Location: Nyeri

Karatina University was established in 2007 as a Moi University campus called the Moi University Central Kenya Campus. In 2010, it was renamed Karatina University College. The institution was renamed Karatina University in 2013 after being recognized as a separate is located 15km from Karatina town. The university offers several courses, including Certificates, Diplomas, Bachelor’s Degrees, Masters's Degrees, and Ph.D. It is focused on Аgriculture and Biotechnology, Business Studies, Education, and Social Sciences courses. Established in 2010, Karatina University is a non-profit public higher education institution in the medium town of KaratinaNyeri.

University of Kabianga

  • Location: Kericho

The University of Kabianga is located in Kabianga, Kericho County. It is situated in the Kabianga Complex alongside the Kabianga Boys Secondary and Primary School, and the Kabianga Tea Farm. The University of Kabiange joins the recently established universities intending to create more learning opportunities. It offers many prestigious courses, including clinical medicine and surgery.

Summary:  2023 Kenyan University Ranking

Rank University Town
1 University of Nairobi Nairobi
2 Kenyatta University Nairobi
3 Strathmore University Nairobi
4 United States International University Africa Nairobi
5 Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Nairobi
6 Egerton University Njoro
7 Mount Kenya University Thika
8 Moi University Eldoret
9 Technical University of Kenya Nairobi
10 The Catholic University of Eastern Africa Nairobi
11 Kenya Methodist University Meru
12 University of Eastern Africa, Baraton Eldoret
13 KCA University Nairobi
14 Maseno University Maseno
15 Murang'a University of Technology Murang'a
16 Kisii University Kisii
17 Africa Nazarene University Nairobi
18 University of Embu Embu
19 Karatina University Karatina
20 Daystar University Nairobi
21 Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology Kakamega
22 Dedan Kimathi University of Technology Nyeri
23 Kabarak University Nakuru
24 Multimedia University of Kenya Nairobi
25 St. Paul's University Limuru
26 Pwani University Kilifi
27 Meru University of Science and Technology Meru
28 South Eastern Kenya University Kitui
29 The Co-operative University of Kenya Nairobi
30 Garissa University Garissa
31 Africa International University Nairobi
32 Technical University of Mombasa Mombasa
33 Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology Bondo
34 University of Eldoret Eldoret
35 Kibabii University Bungoma
36 Amref International University Nairobi
37 Umma University Kajiado
38 Riara University Nairobi
39 Chuka University Chuka
40 Zetech University Ruiru
41 Management University of Africa Nairobi
42 Machakos University Machakos
43 Maasai Mara University Narok
44 Kirinyaga University Kerugoya
45 Laikipia University Nyahururu
46 Adventist University of Africa Nairobi
47 Kiriri Women's University of Science and Technology Nairobi
48 Rongo University Rongo
49 Great Lakes University of Kisumu Kisumu
50 University of Kabianga Kericho
51 Pan Africa Christian University Nairobi
52 Taita Taveta University Voi
53 The Presbyterian University of East Africa Kikuyu
54 Scott Christian University Machakos
55 International Leadership University, Kenya Nairobi
56 Gretsa University Thika
57 The East African University Nairobi
58 Kenya Highlands University Kericho
59 KAG East University Nairobi
60 Lukenya University Kambu
61 Pioneer International University Nairobi
62 Uzima University Kisumu

READ ALSO: List Of All KMTC campuses Locations in Kenya and their contacts


Kenya's top 10 public universities for 2023 stand as pillars of education, driving academic excellence, research, and innovation. These institutions provide a conducive learning environment, state-of-the-art facilities, and diverse educational programs that equip learners knowledge and skills needed to excel in the modern environment. As Kenya prioritizes education, these universities play a vital role in shaping the nation's future.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which public university in Kenya is the oldest? 

The University of Nairobi was founded in 1970.

2. Are these universities accessible to students from all backgrounds? 

Yes, these universities aim to provide equal opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds, reflected in their admission rates and inclusive policies.

3. Do these universities offer courses beyond their specialized fields?

 Yes, most of these universities have expanded their course offerings to encompass various disciplines, ensuring a holistic education for students.

4. How do these universities contribute to the development of Kenya?

 These universities contribute to Kenya's development through research, innovation, and producing skilled graduates who contribute to various sectors of the economy.

5. What are some notable features of these universities? 

These universities boast excellent academic resources, faculty expertise, research facilities, and a supportive learning environment that fosters personal and professional growth. 

Lavine Glory Lavine, a medic in Kenya, is a talented individual with a passion for both medicine and writing. Her expertise in these areas makes her a valuable contributor to, where she shares her knowledge and insights on education and medical subjects.