Top 10 Best Universities In East Africa 2023

East Africa is blessed to be making giant strides in economy, art, and education recently. The top universities in East Africa are therefore the leading institutions that are in the forefront of the charge to develop the region by providing quality education that will empower the youth to become leaders of thought and to embrace innovation, as the driving force for growth and development.

In a show of solidarity; these institutions are very well attended by students from all over the region. Students who consider themselves suitably qualified to be admitted into these institutions troop in with their applications because these are the most prestigious universities in the region, and also because these citadels of learning represent their best chance of getting good, financially rewarding careers.

Top 10 Best Universities In East Africa

 Rank No.  University’s Name  Location
 1.  University Of Nairobi  Kenya
 2.  Makerere University  Uganda
 3.  Kenyatta University  Kenya
 4.  University Of Dar es Salaam  Tanzania
 5.  Egerton University  Kenya
 6.  Moi University  Kenya
 7.  University Dodoma  Tanzania
 8.  University Of Rwanda  Rwanda
 9.  Sokoine University of Agriculture  Tanzania
 10.  Strathmore University  Kenya

Details On The Best East African Universities

1.  University Of Nairobi

Location: Nairobi

The University of Nairobi, which is fondly called UNOBI or UoN, was established in 1970, even though it was already an educational institution back in 1956. This is an institution that has a strong research focus and is set up as a group of colleges that are quite independent, even though they all bear the same name.

The university is based in Nairobi and has the distinction of being the most recognized university in East Africa, and the first choice of most students in the country and region.

The University of Nairobi has around 61,912 students. They are 49,488 undergraduates and 12,424 postgraduates. This is also one of the most innovative in the country.

2.  Makerere University

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Makerere University is located in Kampala, Uganda. This institution is Uganda’s largest and oldest institution of higher learning; it was first established as a technical school in 1922, and then became an independent national university in 1970. Makerere University is made up of nine colleges and one school.

Makerere University has played a very important role in the development of the region; several important and powerful figures have passed through this institution. Ugandan president Milton Obote, and Tanzanian presidents Julius Nyerere and Benjamin Mkapa, all attended this institution, as well as the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, and former Kenyan president the late Mwai Kibaki.

The university has about 36,000 undergraduates and 4,000 postgraduate students.

3.  Kenyatta University

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Kenyatta University is a public research university with its main campus in Nairobi County, Kenya. The university was established in 1985, and is one of the best Universities in East Africa; having made notable contributions to education in the region. This institution was created at a time when there was a strong need for educational institutions; it was converted from an army barracks to a college in the ’70s.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his father, along with other relatives visited this university when they toured some of the historical sites in Kenya back in 2015.

4.  University Of Dar es Salaam

Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) is a public university in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania which was established in 1961. At that time it was an affiliated college of the University of London.

Later on, it became an affiliate of the University of East Africa, and then in 1970, the UEA split into three independent universities: Makerere University in Uganda, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and the University of Dar es Salaam. All those Universities have excelled in their years of existence, and the University of Dar es Salaam has not been different.

The University of Dar es Salaam was recently ranked by the Academic Performance Center as the 1,618th best university in the world, and one of the best in East Africa. The university has about 44,650 students; Undergraduates numbering 41,650, while the other 3,000 are Postgraduates.

5.  Egerton University

Location:  Njoro, Kenya

Egerton University is a public university in Kenya. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Kenya; having been established by a certain Lord Egerton as a farm school back in 1939.

The school’s original purpose was to prepare white European youth for careers in agriculture, however, the institution has now become one of the most prestigious in Kenya not just for the study of agriculture, but for other studies such as Commerce, Education, Engineering, and Technology, and so on.

The institution has around 28,000 students.

6.  Moi University

Location: Eldoret, Gishu, Kenya

Moi University was established in 1984. It is one of the most popular in the country; the institution has over 52,000 students from all over the country, and from other countries in the region. This is a great place to study courses such as Engineering, Commerce, Agriculture, Law, and Social Sciences. A popular department in this University is Medicine; even though this was only established in 1996.

Moi University is known as a pacesetter in the education sector of Kenya; the institution has only the second school of medicine established in the country.

7.  The University of Dodoma

Location: Dodoma, Tanzania

The University of Dodoma (UDOM) is a public university located in Dodoma, the capital of Tanzania. The University of Dodoma was established in 2007, making it a very recent institution; however, right from the onset, it was primed for excellence.

The University of Dodoma is one of the best universities in East Africa because it has consistently produced competent and qualified candidates capable of competing in job markets.

UDOM is the fastest growing university in the country; its student population is steadily rising towards the enroll 50,000 mark and is already bigger than the University of Dar es Salaam.

8.  University of Rwanda

Location: Kigali Rwanda

The University of Rwanda is located in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. It is Rwanda’s largest higher education institution and was established in 2013 by merging independent institutions that trace their history to the 1960s.

This University is designed like a true international institution. It employs academics from all over the continent; and welcomes students not just from Rwanda, but also from all over East Africa.

The institution has about 30,445 students. The students are served by 1,450 academic staff. It is also a popular place for postgraduate studies.

9.  Sokoine University of Agriculture

Location: Morogoro, Tanzania

The Sokoine University of Agriculture is possibly the best place to study agriculture in East Africa. This university was established in 1984 and is a full-fledged degree-awarding university.

This is a great place to study everything relating to agriculture because most of the learning is done on a practical basis; and students can study courses such as Agriculture, Forestry, Wildlife, and Tourism; as well as education, economics and business.

10.  Strathmore University

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Strathmore College was started in 1961. This was one of the first multi-racial, multi-religious in Kenya. It is still run as a charitable trust; which provides the core funding and administration for the University.

The university is not particularly large; there are only about 5,088 Undergraduates. However, it has gained a reputation as one of the best in the country; in fact, it has a particularly notable Accounting program. 60% of the CPA finalists in Kenya come have come from this institution within the past ten years.

It has a very good academic community; it has a great student centre that looks like a huge shopping mall, and it is constantly full of students engaging in intellectual conversations.



The best universities in East Africa are some of the most prestigious institutions in the region; they are the most sought-after places of learning, where students prefer to go in order to get the quality education that they need to be competitive in the job market. They are not only popular in their respective countries; students often cross their native borders in order to get admission to these well-known institutions.

Age is not the prerequisite; when a university performs very well even after a short period of time in existence, it usually gets the recognition it deserves.

People from the Eastern part of Africa would rather like to attend the best institution in their region rather than attend just any higher institution, which is why the list was made for them to choose from, and now our part is done as we have listed out the best universities in East Africa, so you are left with your choice.