The University of Nairobi (UON) is the largest university in Kenya. Although its history as an educational institution goes back to 1956, it did not become an independent university until 1970 when the University of East Africa was split into three independent universities: Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and the University of Nairobi.
In 2011 the University had some 61,912 students, of whom 49,488 were undergraduates and 12,424 postgraduates.The university has launched several policy frameworks and introduced module 2 degrees to cope with the demand of higher education in Kenya.
The University of Nairobi was ranked number 1 of all public and private Universities in Kenya and ranked number 1479 worlwide by the webometric ranking in 2012.
The inception of the University of Nairobi is traced back to 1956, with the establishment of the Royal Technical College which admitted its first lot of A-level graduates for technical courses in April the same year. The Royal Technical College was transformed into the second University College in East Africa on 25 June 1961 under the name Royal College Nairobi. The college was entitled to a special relation with the University of London whereupon it started preparing students in the faculties of arts, science, and engineering for degrees awarded by the University of London.
On 20 May 1964, the Royal College Nairobi was renamed University College Nairobi as a constituent college of the inter-territorial Federal University of East Africa, and henceforth the enrolled students were to study for degrees of the University of East Africa rather than the University of London. In 1970, the University College Nairobi transformed into the first national university in Kenya and was renamed the University of Nairobi. Later, the university made ties with the University of Rome La Sapienza and Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium mainly for research funding purposes.
In view of the rapid expansion and complexities in administration, the university underwent a major restructuring in 1983 resulting in decentralization of the administration through the creation of six campus colleges headed by principals.
- College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (Upper Kabete Campus)
- College of Architecture and Engineering (Main Campus)
- College of Biological and Physical Sciences (Chiromo Campus)
- College of Education and External Studies (Kikuyu Campus and Kenya science campus)
- College of Health Sciences (Kenyatta National Hospital)
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Main Campus)
- School of Business ( Lower kabete campus)
- Centre For Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
- Centre For Hiv Prevention And Research (Uon-Chivpr)
- Centre For Open And Distance Learning (Codl)
- Faculty Of Agriculture
- Faculty Of Arts
- Faculty Of Veterinary Medicine
- Institute For Development Studies
- Institute Of Anthropology, Gender & African Studies
- Institute Of Diplomacy And International Studies
- Institute Of Nuclear Science & Technology
- Institute Of Tropical & Infectious Diseases (Unitid)
- Kenya Science Campus
- Population Studies And Research Institute
- School Of Law
- School Of Medicine
- School Of Biological Sciences
- School Of Business
- School Of Computing And Informatics
- School Of Continuing And Distance Education
- School Of Dental Sciences
- School Of Economics
- School Of Education
- School Of Engineering
- School Of Journalism
- School Of Mathematics
- School Of Nursing Sciences
- School Of Pharmacy
- School Of Physical Sciences
- School Of The Arts And Design
- School Of The Built Environment
- The Wangari Maathai Institute For Peace And Environmental Studies
- Board Of Post Graduate Studies
- Center For International Programmes & Links