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Open Access The tension of elite vs. massified higher education systems: how prospective students perceive public and private universities in Kenya

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Abstract:

This article examines how recent changes, leading to a diversified supply in Kenya's university education system, is reflected in prospective students' aspirations, perceptions and preferences to undertake university education. The results, based on a combination of a convenience and snowball sampling of settings, within which random samples of final year high school students were selected, reveal that aspiration to undertake university education is high among all social groups, and that state universities are preferred by a majority of the students in spite of the rapid growth in the number of private universities of acceptable quality. By examining the aspirations of students and college choice, the paper engages the debates around elite vs. massified higher education in Kenya's context.

Keywords: ASPIRATIONS; DIVERSIFIED HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM; ELITE EDUCATION; HIGHER EDUCATION IN KENYA; PERCEPTIONS; PREFERENCES; STUDENT CHOICE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14748460802700579

Publication date: 2009-03-01

More about this publication?
  • London Review of Education (LRE) is an international peer-reviewed journal featuring rigorous, theoretically based research into contemporary education. Based at the UCL Institute of Education in London, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is an eclectic and engaging journal that features analysis across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Its articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy, and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to p.gordon-smith@ucl.ac.uk

    Calls for papers
    LRE is planning to feature the following subjects: learning in London; academic literacies. Please see publication homepage for deadlines and how to submit articles on these and other subjects.
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