The move follows a growing number of students enrolling at the university from countries such as Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.
The expansion has already started with a partnership between Nexford and the Federation of Kenya Employers to analyze the skills shortage in the country.
“We are… excited to help address local and global talent shortages by enabling Kenyan youth to build the skills they need to qualify for local and remote jobs,” said Nexford CEO Fadl Al Tarzi.
“Kenya’s economy continues to grow and is destined for leapfrog development as a result of a relatively strong primary education system, a robust technology infrastructure and a government clearly committed to digital transformation,” he continued.
Nexford aims to secure a number of online partnerships with employers and is also “exploring collaborations” with local universities to expand its existing online offerings.
As part of its introduction to the expansion, Nexford held an online education and career readiness conference in Nairobi for prospective students, attended by government, employment and education entities.
According to Nexford, the current market context in the country has made online education a more compelling option for students.
Kenya’s current demand for higher education is now beginning to exceed the number of places available in both public and private universities – 173,000 students with grades C+ or above to just over 167,000 places.
“Like many other African countries, Kenya is witnessing an imbalance between supply and demand higher education, largely due to the rapid growth of the youth population.
“We are excited to help address this capacity gap in partnership with a number of local organisations,” Al Tarzi said.
In addition to the lack of places, Kenya is also preparing to increase university fees and cut public funding for “top ranked students”.
“Kenya is witnessing an imbalance between supply and demand across higher education”
With the new measures recommended by the President’s Education Reform Taskforce, fees for government-sponsored students have almost tripled, from £101 a term to more than £330.
According to Nexford, this means 40% of students with a grade of C+ or higher will not be eligible for any public funding, eliminating the option of higher education for some students altogether – or pushing them towards online options.
Laila Macharia, a lawyer from the region and Non-Executive Director of ABSA Banks, has been recruited by Nexford as its Senior Advisor for East Africa.
At a career readiness event in Nairobi, she spoke of “raising awareness” of opportunities for Africans to “prepare for the future of work and access the global remote work network”.
“The many benefits of online education – provided by platforms such as Nexford – will help a shift from ‘brain drain’ to accumulation of ‘brain capital’,” she said after the event.
The Nexford platform offers US-accredited university degrees online worldwide.