Moi University was established in 1984 by an Act of Parliament (Moi University Act, 1984) as the second public university in Kenya. This was on the recommendation of a Presidential Working Party, chaired by Prof. Collins B. Mackay, which had collected views from Kenyans about the desirability of the same. Courtesy of his deep and altruistic concern for and interest in the advancement of education at all levels in Kenya, not only as a professional teacher but as Kenya’s Head of State, President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi pioneered the idea of a university in a rural setting.
He, like most Kenyans, had good reasons for this. Among them was the need to decentralize higher education from Nairobi to other parts of the country. The former president felt time had come to create another university away from an urban environment. Not surprisingly Kenya’s second university bears his name. That is a modest tribute to a great and deserving Kenyan.
The University was, therefore established with an intention of making it a science, technology and development oriented institution which would focus on problems of rural development in its training and research programmes. The first group of students, 83 in total, was admitted on October 1, 1984 through a transfer, from the Department of Forestry of the University of Nairobi, which formed the initial one faculty in 1984. This group was housed and taught at Kaptagat Hotel since the new campus location had no buildings. The University Act of 1984 was repealed and replaced by the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012, which is the one in current use. Under this Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology has considerable powers over the operations of both the public as well as private universities.
The University is located in Kesses, 35 kilometers from Eldoret Town, and 310 kilometers Northwest of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. Moi University has expanded tremendously over the past decade and this can be attributed to the commitment of the entire Moi University fraternity, government investment, strategic partnerships, and the visionary leadership of the University Council and Management. These achievements are a testament to the resilience and fortitude of every faculty and staff member who enabled change at a pace and on a scale never experienced before in the country.
Since 1984, the University has experienced phenomenal growth leading to the establishment of several constituent colleges across the country, many of which have since grown to be fully fledged Universities namely Maseno University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), Maasai Mara University (Mmarau), University of Kabianga (UoK), University of Eldoret (UoE), Karatina University, Rongo University, Garissa University and Alupe University.
As facilities were developed and needs were recognized, new Schools were added, namely Science, Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Business and Economics, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Information Sciences, Human Resource Development, Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, Nursing, Dentistry, Law, Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management, Aerospace, Biological and Physical Sciences and Agricultural Sciences. Recently, with intent to harmonise programmes and optimize available scarce human resources, the University re-established the School of Post Graduate Studies and moved programmes previously under the School of Human Resource Development to the School of Information Sciences and School of Business and Economics. The former School of Human Resource Development has since been converted into the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Development Studies.
From 83 students in 1984, the University currently has a student population of 39,786 with a staff component of 3,000 being both academic and administrative. Currently, after one of its constituent colleges namely Alupe University College was elevated to a fully fledged University now Moi University has one constituent college namely Bomet University College (BUC). The University also had Odera Akang’o Campus College in Yala Town but following the harmonization and restructuring the campus was closed. In addition, the University had satellite campuses namely Kitale and Eldoret West Campuses which have since been closed but has maintained the following at present: Main Campus (Kesses), Nairobi Campus, Coast Campus, and Eldoret Town Campus.
With the new Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the repealing of the University Act of 1984, the Chancellorship of the universities changed, for the first time, from the Head of State to citizens that had distinguished themselves in their professional careers and contribution to national development. The University Act of 2012 gave the mandate and powers to the Commission for University Education (CUE) over the governance of public and private universities on matters of general policy on higher education. Since its inception, Moi University has undergone a number of transformations regarding its governance and operations since the first Moi University Act (No. 10) of 1984. Among the provisions of the Act, the Chancellorship of the university was vested in the Head of State. The Chancellor, under the Act, was given the authority to appoint the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and College Principals.
To be the University of choice in nurturing innovation and talent in science, technology and development.
To preserve, create, and disseminate knowledge, conserve and develop scientific, technological, and cultural heritage through quality teaching and research; to create conducive work and learning environment, and to work with stakeholders for the betterment of society.
Putting knowledge to work is the University’s guiding philosophy. At Moi University, the discovery, dissemination, and application of knowledge are synergistically balanced. The University is driven by the process of involvement - involvement in world affairs; in the needs of individuals and their communities, businesses, industries, and governments; in the nurturing of inquisitive minds; in the transfer of ideas from the campus to the market- place; and involvement in societal problems in our country and beyond. The creation of new knowledge that will benefit society is at the heart of the University’s mission. The distinction between basic and applied research has become more blurred as the processes of discovery, scientific inquiry and scholarship inform all aspects of the educational enterprise at Moi University.
Students and Academic Programmes
Moi University serves about 39,786 students via onsite and offsite courses in 233 degree programmes offered by the Institution’s 15 Schools. Students come to Moi University from 17 countries and all the 47 counties in Kenya. To fully derive the educational benefits of a diverse campus, every area of the University is committed to actively pursuing an inclusive environment particularly in relation to students with disabilities.
The University has some of the largest accredited schools of education and business in the country and one of the best schools of Medicine and Engineering in the country. Many of the University’s graduates are absorbed nationally and internationally and contribute further to the educated workforce that helps to fuel the economy and quality of life in our country and beyond.
The University boasts of 1000 faculty – 52 and 82 being Full Professors and Associate Professors respectively. Included among our faculty are winners of national and international fellowships and awards.
The University’s current funded research funding totals KShs 1.8bn. The School of Medicine ranks second among the 8 public medical schools for research expenditures in Kenya. The research performed by the faculty is unlocking the fundamental mechanisms of HIV/AIDS (Ampath), cancer (Chandaria Centre), heart diseases, among others. The impact of the University’s health care delivery to Kenyan citizens and communities in the North Rift, Western and Nyanza regions of Kenya is exemplified by the more than 160,000 outpatient visits and consultations that are performed each year by our faculty, staff, and students at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Each year our graduates include approximately 50 MDs, 40 MD residents and fellows, 30 physical therapists, 20 dentists, and 60 nurses. The majority of these graduates continue to practice health care in Kenya. The University also exercises national leadership in interdisciplinary research areas such as research in education (Cermesa) and Peace and Reconciliation Studies.
In 2011–2015 the Research Office entered into 1 technology and patent licenses with industry and has filed 5 patent applications. These statistics are still well below the expectations of not only the University but the country and efforts at enhancing the research function of the University are urgent. In addition to such entrepreneurial activities and our contribution to training a workforce for Kenya, the University also has a major impact on the country’s economy. The University currently employs more than 3000 faculty and staff, the economic benefits being manifested in the rapid development of Eldoret Town and its environs. The Ampath and other grant-projects have a staff establishment of 3000 whereas Rivatex employs 400 full time employees whose income is a major boost to the economic performance of Uasin Gishu County.
The recent award of the tender by the Kenya Government to the University in conjunction with its external partners for the supply of tablets and laptops to 26 out of the 47 counties in the country is estimated to cost KShs17bn. The spinoffs will contribute to the economy of the County in addition to the accrued benefits to the county’s economy. The University also won the ACE II tender in the area of textile technology for the schools of Physical and Biological Sciences and Engineering worth KShs600m. In addition, the accommodation of students across all the campuses in privately developed hostels provides revenue for the landlords in the vicinity of the University thus contributing to the economic well-being of the counties and the country.
Moi University had physical facilities for instruction in the 14 schools (formerly 15 schools) albeit, constrained physical facilities against student numbers. These include classrooms, laboratories, lecture halls, residential hostels, re-creational facilities, administrative space among others. The Ampath facility, for example, is the largest HIV/AIDS health care facility in the country. The challenges of modernizing and expanding the facilities are real and due to the rapid expansion, the University has been forced to enter into contractual rentals in Nairobi for teaching and office space.
The university has fully embraced ICT particularly in Financial, Library Information Management Systems and Students Accommodation. Under the leadership of the current Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Sanga Kosgey, the University has implemented an ERP system for automation of its operations. The university has undertaken major works in ICT infrastructure which has improved internet and intranet connectivity with high speed in all campuses.
The University has also undertaken several development projects including completion of 2250 hostels (Main Campus), ongoing construction of PDN building at College of Health Sciences and construction of the Library at Annex Campus with a sitting capacity of 2000, construction of Science Building, construction and operationalization of Elimu Mills, acquisition and renovation of Rivatex East Africa Limited and student recreational fields.
The latest University projects are construction of a perimeter wall around the Main Campus, erection high-rise flood lights, construction of modern main gate at Main Campus, construction of four 500-seater capacity lecture halls and the state-of-the-art 6000-seater capacity ultramodern amphitheatre. These are meant to give the Institution a major facelift and position it as a world-class University.