About Us

The Department of Educational Studies was established in 1988 to offer degree programmes using Open and Distance Learning (ODL) methods and thereby extend the University's educational and training opportunities to the wider population of Kenya . Since then, the Department has carried out this mandate and maintained a leadership position in providing quality education to Kenyans at their door steps by ODL methods.

The Department of Educational Studies (DES) was initially part of the Faculty of External Degree Studies (FEDS) which admitted the first cohort of distance students in 1986/87 academic year. During the reorganization of 1988, the former Institute of Adult Studies (IAS), the Institute of Extra-Mural Studies (IEMS) and FEDS were reduced to departments within the new Faculty of External Studies (FES). The School of Distance Studies (SDS) was was transferred to the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE).

The reasons for starting the external degree programmes and consequently, the DES were that: 

  • There were large numbers of candidates who qualified for University education but who could not be admitted because of lack of residential space and limited academic facilities in the University.
  • It would give an opportunity to a large number of SI and Diploma in Education holders who were practising teachers to further their education without disrupting their productive employment.
  • The external degree programme (EDP) would give an opportunity for reviving Mature Age Entrance Scheme in the University for working people.
  • Through the use of distance teaching methods the EDP would provide a cheaper method of providing university education to Kenyans as compared with the conventional mode which involves expensive capital investment.

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Previous Chairs of the Department:






Mr. Jeckoniah Odumbe 1986 - 1991

Judith Kamau 1992 - 1995

Dr. Omondi Bowa 1996 - 2004






Dr. Guantai Mboroki 2004 - 2005

Dr. Omondi Bowa 2006- to 2017


Dr. Anne Aseey 2020 to date

Major milestones:


  • Increase in number of students from 600 in 1986 to 5,000 in 2013
  • Increased the number of annual graduands to 1,283
  • Development of new programmes, namely, Bachelor of Education (Science) in 2002, Master of Arts in Peace Education in 2010 and PhD in 2004.
  • Implementation of Central marking of examinations in 2004.
  • Establishment of the journal of Continuing and Distance Education in 2010.
  • Digitization and uploading of study modules in university multimedia web portal in 2010
  • Training of academic staff of other Schools and Faculties on ODL material development skills
  • Launching Master of Arts in Peace Education in 2010.
  • Developing partnerships with Coventry University and Makerere University to develop Master of Arts in Peace Education in 2010, hold workshops and conferences and develop staff capacity in peace studies.
  • Increased the number of annual graduands to 1,283