What is Unique About OUK?
The Open University of Kenya (OUK) stands out as a unique institution for several reasons:
Framework of Openness:
As implied by its name, OUK is committed to open access to learning opportunities. It promotes flexibility and inclusivity in terms of admission, study progression, study locations, and study methods, catering for individuals who wish to balance work and study or pursue lifelong learning without age, gender, or cost restrictions.
OUK is based on the idea of inclusion in education departing from the traditional approach which is exclusionary in nature. OUK believes that everybody should have a chance to access higher education, nobody is too stupid to access higher education, it is against the concept of “school dropout” or of using academic grades as a barrier to access. It has put in place measures to recognize prior learning.
Enabling Frameworks for Flexibility:
OUK is seen as an enabling institution that recognizes education as a continuous process. It provides a revolving door for individuals to step out when facing challenges and step back in when conditions are favorable or affordable. This flexibility is also evident by measures which enable students to learn at their own pace. While in a conventional university, an on-campus student can take up to seven courses in a semester, distance or online learners who share their time with other responsibilities have a choice on the number of courses they can take and pay for.
To address the challenges of the costs of higher education, OUK has priced its programs to ensure that the fees are much lower than conventional universities. The yearly cost of its degree programs is Kshs 105,000 except for Bachelor of Technology Education which will cost Ksh 115,000. The cost of pursuing a postgraduate diploma program will be Ksh 110,000 for the one academic year. This is lower than a conventional university but still allows the institution to operate sustainably. In addition, the flexibility of learning enables learners to take courses spread over a period, thus enhancing cost-effectiveness.