Study in the UK from Kenya

Study in the UK from Kenya

Study in the UK from Kenya
Ashma Shrestha

Studying in the United Kingdom has become an increasingly popular choice among Kenyan students seeking international education. The UK's rich academic tradition, diverse culture, and world-renowned universities make it an attractive destination for those looking to broaden their horizons and gain a globally recognized qualification. 

In this article, we'll explore why studying in the UK is a fantastic opportunity for Kenyan students, popular study programs, admission requirements, top universities, the cost of studying, and work opportunities for Kenyan students in the UK.

Why Study in the UK?

  • Academic Excellence: The UK is home to some of the world's top-ranked universities, known for their rigorous academic standards and cutting-edge research. Institutions like the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and University College London consistently rank among the best globally.
  • Global Recognition: UK degrees are highly regarded worldwide. Earning a degree from a UK university can open doors to various international career opportunities and enhance your employability.
  • Diverse Cultural Experience: UK study immerses students in a culturally diverse environment. Interacting with people from different backgrounds can enrich your perspective and help you develop a global outlook.
  • Language Advantage: As English is the primary language of instruction, Kenyan students can improve their English language skills significantly. This proficiency can be a valuable asset in their future careers.
  • Shorter Duration: Many undergraduate programs in the UK are three years long, which can save time and money compared to other countries where undergraduate degrees typically take four years to complete.

Popular Study Programs for Kenyan Students in the UK

Kenyan students have a wide range of study programs in the UK. Some of the most popular fields of study include:

  • Business and Management: Finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship programs are in high demand due to their relevance in today's global job market.
  • Engineering: The UK is renowned for its engineering programs, with specializations like civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering attracting many Kenyan students.
  • Medicine and Healthcare: UK medical schools are highly respected, and students from Kenya often pursue degrees in medicine, nursing, or allied health professions.
  • Computer Science and IT: The UK's technology sector is thriving, making it an excellent destination for students interested in computer science, software engineering, and data science.
  • Social Sciences: Fields like psychology, sociology, and international relations are popular choices for Kenyan students interested in understanding human behavior and society.

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Admission Requirements in the UK for Kenyan Students

To secure admission to a UK university, Kenyan students typically need to meet the following requirements:

  • Academic Qualifications: Kenyan students must provide their secondary school leaving certificates, final grades, and transcripts. Each university may have different academic entry requirements, so checking the specific prerequisites for your chosen course and institution is essential. For example, some programs may require certain grades in specific subjects.
  • English Proficiency Tests: Since English is the primary language of instruction in UK universities, Kenyan students are often required to demonstrate their proficiency in English. The two most commonly accepted English proficiency tests are:

IELTS (International English Language Testing System): A minimum overall score of 6.0 to 7.0, depending on the university and program, is often required. Specific band score requirements in each IELTS module (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) may also apply.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Universities generally require a minimum TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based Test) score ranging from 80 to 100, with individual section score requirements as well.

  • Visa Requirements: Obtaining a student visa is essential. Students must provide proof of acceptance from a UK institution, financial stability, and a genuine intention to study.
  • Statement of Purpose: A well-crafted personal statement explaining the reasons for choosing a specific course and institution is often required.
  • References: Some universities may request academic or professional references as part of the application process.

Foundation Course:

Suppose you have completed the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education with 5 credits, including Mathematics and English Language. In that case, you may need to complete a foundation year before enrolling in a bachelor's degree program.

Undergraduate Courses:

To qualify for undergraduate programs, you should have one of the following:

  • A Diploma with an overall grade of 50% (grade C).
  • An Ordinary Diploma with an overall grade of 50% (grade C).
  • A Higher Diploma with an overall grade of 50% (grade C).

Postgraduate Course:

It would help if you generally had an undergraduate degree with good grades from a recognized institution for admission to postgraduate courses. Entry requirements may vary depending on the specific program. If you do not meet these requirements, you can consider applying for a pre-master program to obtain the necessary qualifications.

Top UK Universities for Kenyan Students

While the UK boasts many prestigious universities, several are particularly popular among Kenyan students due to their vital academic programs and diverse communities. Some of these universities include:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • University College London (UCL)
  • University of Edinburgh

Cost of Studying in the UK

Studying in the UK can be a significant financial investment for Kenyan students. The tuition, accommodation, and living expenses vary depending on the city and university. Here's a table outlining approximate costs:


Average Cost (per year)

Tuition Fees

£10,000 - £38,000


£6,000 - £12,000

Living Expenses

£8,000 - £12,000

Books and Supplies

£1,000 - £2,000

Health Insurance

£600 - £1,000

Miscellaneous (Travel, etc.)

£2,000 - £3,000


£27,600 - £68,000 (varies)

Work Opportunities for Kenyan Students in the UK

The UK offers various work opportunities for international students, including Kenyans. These opportunities can help students cover their expenses and gain valuable experience:

Part-Time Jobs: Kenyan students on a Tier 4 student visa can generally work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during holidays. Many universities have on-campus job opportunities.

Internships: The UK is home to numerous multinational companies and organizations that offer internships to students. These experiences can enhance your resume and provide insights into your chosen field.

Post-Study Work: The UK has reintroduced the Post-Study Work Visa (PSW), allowing international graduates to stay and work in the UK for up to two years after completing their studies. This is a significant advantage for Kenyan students seeking international work experience.


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