The Overrated Perception of Higher Education in Kenya

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Why do people still believe that they still need to go to school for higher education to become successful in life .How long have you stayed in this country? Do you know how many students graduate from all institutions in just a year? Crazy right? In this country some things should definitely change, including the saying that knowledge from higher learning is the most powerful thing one can acquire also that that’s the only way one is guaranteed to have a comfortable life.

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Survey shows that people living ‘the life’ that we all dream of to have some day are living better lives than some who drowned themselves in higher education. I say that higher education in Kenya is extremely overrated .With the jobless graduates ewe have in this country and the high number of graduates from all institutions is too much to bear.



According to Mark K Smith education is the process of inviting truth and possibility. It can be defined as the wise, hopeful and respectful cultivation of learning undertaken in the belief that all should have the chance to share in life. Methods of education include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research and frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Also it can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and then college, university, or apprenticeship.

I personally think that higher education in Kenya is extremely overrated. It is perceived that education is the most essential factor for a successful lifestyle, and based on surveys it is proven that individuals without an education have a better life than an individual with education.

The higher education system in Kenya respectfully is time wasting for students and mentally drives students crazy. Have you heard of cases where students go mad because of education? It’s too much unnecessary work. Why do we need all those subjects? What is the purpose of learning some subjects you will definitely not use, hear them again or help you in the future? Why use all that money for education?

I honestly think the purpose of higher education is to prepare students to face the world especially in the market place on their own, teach them how to be brave, determined, and thoughtful and wise in different situations that they might encounter. In most cases students are not really given what they need, instead, schools waste the most valuable time in one’s whole life, and schools filled it with worthless knowledge and too many subjects to study and expect one to pass in all of the subjects.

Do the lectures really know what the students really want? Does every parent honestly speaking understand what their children are thinking and what they want to be in future or they just force every child to study? Do the lectures know what their students are best at or enjoy doing? Does the government really care about education, or are they just use it as a tool for brainwash and enjoy the interest they charge when giving out student loans.


Many people believe that the only way to make it in this country is to have a degree. With high tuition fees costs leading people to turn to financial aid as their only source to pay for university, students are left with large amounts of debt that they will be paying off until the day they retire. In order to have an education, students and sponsors must spend the rest of their lives paying back the loans that gave them the privilege of working at jobs they hate for salaries that simply do not allow them to make ends meet.

Along with this, the lucky university graduates are entering the workforce without even the need of their degree that they just went to school for ad some end up going back home after graduating with no job. The level of unemployment in this country is scary so scary that it gives students sleepless nights not forgetting their sponsors who sacrifice everything to pay for their loved ones to have an education. So many people are getting useless degrees to where they would not even have had to attend university. In other words, education is simply overrated and does not live up to everyone’s high expectations of it.

A big factor that decides whether a person will be going to university or not, is if that person can afford it. This seems to be a problem for most Kenyans, as tuition costs keeps on getting expensive. In my opinion, everyone should get the opportunity to go to university. The real problem is that people cannot afford it. As tuition costs keep rising, only the ones who are highly able can continue to afford it. People from the lower and middle classes are expected to go to university as well, and everyone else thinks that it is as simple as that. Education should be a right for every Kenyan, not commodity that only the rich can only access. All people are advised to go to universities and even colleges, but only the rich and those who are able can actually afford it. Education is important, but with high tuition fees only the select few can attend without ending getting buried in debt. As tuition fees keep rising, less people are able to afford it. If people do not have the money to go to institution for higher learning, it is really not worth it. Instead of having reasonable salary or income because of their degree, they will be paying off numerous amounts of debt in student loans, which will make their lives and those looking up on them including their sponsors worse financially even worse than it was before.

The worst part of this is that when people graduate from different institutions, they have piled up amount of debt that they are going to have to pay off. After graduation, university graduates are thrown into the market place to get a job. Finding a job right out of universities can be hectic and stressful in this country, which is known to be a serious problem and yet to be taken serious by the government but it is necessary with so much debt, graduates end up not affording anything else with the salary they are making. This eventually causes problems within our economy.

If graduates have student loans to pay back, they will not benefit the economy with purchases that they would make if they did not have to pay back student loans, like buying things and starting a family. If they are not going to do such things it will definitely hurt our economy.

University graduates are usually in most cases the ones purchasing things to settle down, because they are the newer generation and that’s what they think of first after getting a salary. However, now that graduates have all these student loans to pay back, they cannot go out and benefit the economy with these kinds of purchases. Therefore, education is overrated due to the fact that financial aid is increasing, which increases student loan debt, leading to an unstable economy.

This shows that as the amount of financial aid increases, the tuition costs rise as well. This shows that the system is broken. People cannot win in this situation, when going to college. Their debt is going to increase either way. If a person cannot afford going to university, their choice is to simply not go, or pay off student loans for the rest of their life. This simply shows that the system is getting worse and harder to fix. It reveals the real life situation with higher education that it is not everything. With the downfalls of rising tuition costs, it is simply not worth it for some people.

Since going to university is in such high demand, people continue to further their education, which also increases their debt even more. Kenya is one of the only countries that have not found a way to pay for citizens’ education. Financial aid is simply a waste, and one is better off just not going to school than having to pay off student loans for the rest of their life. Things will not change in Kenya, and if they do it will not be very soon. Thus, going to university is really not worth all the time.

Along with large amounts of debt being an issue as to why education is overrated, is the issue with the value of the degree. Once a person graduates, they expect to enter the market place as soon as possible. They believe that they will find a job that suits their degree in just a matter of a couple weeks or months. Many graduates are forced to take some non-professional jobs this is because, while students are attending college, the other people that are not in college are taking positions that university students would. This shows that the need for a degree in the market place has gone down. This enhances the idea of the value of the degree and whether it is actually worth it or not.

So many university graduates end up in jobs that do not even need a degree, so they pretty much just wasted four-six years of their life. The cost of the degree is substantial, just to learn. What is important for university students to learn is up for debate too. Employers always report that many new graduates they hire are not prepared to work, lacking the critical thinking, writing, and problem-solving skills needed in today’s workplaces so are universities really teaching students the right things they need to know for the market place.

Universities teach basic units, but if people cannot do basic things like thinking and writing, then they should not be trying to enter the market place. Universities should be devalued, because while it does teach students information on their desired major, it does not help people when they are put into real life experiences in the market place. Some graduates enter the market place; they realize that they do not even want to enter the career that they just got their degree in. When kids are forced to go to school especially to university at such a young age, they are constantly changing their minds. So many graduates end up in jobs that their degree is not even in. This proves that they should not have even attended school in the first place.

Even though having an education can be beneficial in some ways, there are people out there who did not go to university who are living perfectly happy lives. The school systems shove it into kids’ brains that they have to go to university. Even if people do not attend university, there are other opportunities out there. The emphasis on college needs to reevaluated, because not everyone can go to school.

Some people enter into the police task force. During their recruit time thousands of youth people show up, even from faraway places. This is a suitable solution for people who cannot afford to go to universities or they do not to .With their experience in the military, there are numerous job opportunities available.

Besides joining the police task force, there are other solutions if a person does not go to university. People can immediately enter the workforce. Instead of wasting thousands of shillings on university people can start making money the day they graduate high school. When people think of jobs that do not need a degree, they think of the worst ones out there. They think about shoe shinning, selling clothes on the street and serving food in hotels and there is nothing wrong with those people do those kind of jobs. However, there are jobs out there that do not require a degree, that still make a reasonable salary. If a person gets a job right out of high school, odds are if they stick with that job for a while, they will eventually move up and eventually get paid more.

Higher education is not for everyone. Some people would be better suited in other careers. There are ways people can make it without going to university. Not going to university should not be looked down upon. It is not the people’s fault that the financial aid and higher education system is broken. It is not their fault that their skills would be better used in a different area.

Another reason why higher education is overrated it is because it causes setbacks in the traditional adulthood life. That means if someone were to graduate in five years, they would already be twenty-four years old, if they started higher learning at age eighteen. If one is lucky not be affected by government issues like lectures strikes which leads to closing of schools. When people are young, they think about when they want to get married and have kids. For many people this is around twenty-five years old, but when people finally reach age twenty-five .With university students not graduating until their mid-twenties, this pushes back marriage and family starting.

Not only does higher education push these types of things back, but so does student loan debt. Once students graduate, they think they will buy a house, settle down, and start a family. Since these graduates have student loans to pay off, it causes a setback. Overall, if people are trying to be independent and start a new life, odds are they will not be doing so until they are at least thirty if they attend university.

Also traditionally when one is done, we believe he/she tries to help his family or community financially .But with the heavy loans and lack of employment it becomes difficult to. People believe that education is the most important thing, so people help out through fundraisings or sponsors sell their properties for example land, livestock or take huge loans from the banks .They claim that when the student is done will help them out with the finances.

In most cases graduates get employed and help out where they dented or were helped out when studying .But in other cases they stay for years without getting any employment



In conclusion, higher education is completely overrated in Kenya. Because of high tuition costs, people have to use financial aid (loans) to get education. Then, once they have graduated, they are paying off student loans until the day they retire. Not only does financial aid hurt the economy, but it also causes setbacks in the traditional adulthood life, if these people are trying to start a family and buy a house.

The value of the actual degree is also overrated, because many university graduates end up in jobs that do not even require their degree. Although going to college comes with numerous benefits, like experience and better opportunities, there are crucial drawbacks like the rising tuition and debt, along with the actual value of the degree and traditional adulthood setbacks. People need to consider their options first before immediately thinking about education. There are other things out there in life, and higher education needs to be devalued.

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