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State Departments

State Department for Basic Education


  • Basic Education (Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary) Education Policy management
  • Primary and secondary education institutions management
  • School administration and Programmes
  • Registration of Basic Education and Training institutions
  • Administration of Early Childhood and Pre-Primary Education, Standards and Norms
  • Management of Education Standards
  • Management of National examinations and Certification
  • Curriculum Development
  • Quality Assurance in Education
  • Representation of Kenya in UNESCO
  • Adult education Management

The Mandate

  • Education Policy Management;
  • Management of Continuing Education;
  • Administration of Early Childhood Education;
  • Standards and Norms;
  • Management of Education Standards;
  • Management of National Examinations and Certification;
  • Curriculum Development;
  • Quality Assurance in Education;
  • Primary and Secondary Education Institutions Management;
  • Teacher Education and Management;
  • School Administration and Programmes;
  • Registration of Basic Education and Training Institutions;
  • Special Needs Education Management; Representation of Kenya in UNESCO;
  • Adult Education Management; Tertiary Institutions and State Corporations
  • University Education;
  • Commission for Higher Education (CHE);
  • Higher Education Loans Board (HELB);
  • To promote and integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at all levels of education and training.


State Department for Higher Education and Research (SDHER)

Core Functions

The core functions of the State Department are as follows:

  1. University Education Policy;
  2. University Education Management;
  3. Management of Continuing Education (excluding TVETS);
  4. Science, Technology and Innovation policy;
  5. Public Universities and Constituent Colleges
  6. Governance of public universities
  7. Biosafety management

The functions of the State Department are also guided by the Universities Act 2012 Revised (2015, 2016 and 2018), and the Science, Technology and Innovation Act 2013 and the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2019 on a Policy Framework for Reforming Education and Training for Sustainable Development in Kenya.


The State Department for University Education & Research derives its mandate from the Executive order No. 1 of 2020, issued by the office of The President on 14th January, 2020, and revised May 2020 which established Ministry of Education, and four (4) State Departments on “Organization of the Government of the Republic of Kenya”.


The main objectives of the State Department include:

  1. To enhance access, equity, quality and relevance of education and training at university level.
  2. To promote and integrate research, science, technology and innovation at all levels.
  3. To promote and coordinate the development of Science and Technology.
  4. To provide relevant and adequate skills and competencies in strategic disciplines for spurring industrial and economic development in line with the aspirations of Kenyans.

Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs) in the State Department

In order to effectively undertake its mandate, the State Department also comprises 31 Public Universities, 9 University Constituent Colleges and one (1) specialized degree awarding Public Universities, eight (8) Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies (SAGAs), which are charged with various responsibilities as presented in table 1.

Table1: SAGAs and their Mandate

S/No SAGA Mandate
1. National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) Was established under the STI Act 2013 to accredit and assure quality in Science, Technology and Innovations (ST&I) and advice the Government on related matters.
2. Kenya National Innovation Agency (KENIA) To scout for and nurture innovative ideas from individuals, training institutions, the private sector and similar institutions.
3. National Research Fund (NRF) Was established under the STI Act 2013 to mobilize and channel resources for research, science, technology and innovation.
4. Bio safety Appeals Board (BAB) To make rules and regulation for appeal procedure, hear Appeals from persons aggrieved by decisions made by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA), and communicate decisions to the parties involved and public.
5. Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) To source for funds and finance Kenyan students enrolled in recognized institutions of higher learning, both within and outside the country. It handles loans, bursaries and scholarships for needy students in public and private universities. The Board also has the mandate of recovering all mature loans issued since 1974.
6. Commission for University Education (CUE) Was established under the Universities Act 2012 to accredit and quality assure university education in both public and private universities.
7. Universities Funding Board (UFB) Was established under the Universities Act 2012 to mobilize and manage resources for financing university education
8. Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service Board (KUCCPS) Was established under the Universities Act, 2012 as a body corporate to coordinate placement of Government sponsored students into universities and colleges.
9. Universities and Constituent Colleges To provide university education through teaching, research and consultancies

The State Department has two (2) Directorates which are technical departments namely:

  1. Directorate of University Education (DUE)
  2. Directorate of Research, Science and Technology (DRST)

In addition to the two directorates, the state department has Administration Department where all other sections fall including Central Planning Unit, Accounts, Supply Channel Services,  Human Resource Management, Public Communication, Legal Services, ICT and Finance.  


The mandate and functions

  1. Formulation and review of policies on University Education in collaboration with relevant bodies and agencies.
  2. Overseeing Governance and Management of Universities.
  3. Receiving and administration of university scholarships offered by foreign countries and agencies.
  4. Coordination of admission of students to public universities in liaison with Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service.
  5. Coordination of student’s exchange programmes.
  6. Implementing, monitoring and evaluation of various projects in University education.
  7. Clearance of students going for foreign training.


Mandate and functions

  1. Promote, facilitate and guide the national research system through policies that rationalize the integration of Research and Development (R&D) into overall national economic development.
  2. Formulation and implementation of policies, strategies and programmes for research management and development;
  3. Management and development of the national innovation system;
  4. Development, promotion and application of science and technology;
  5. International collaborations, partnerships and global obligations in research, science and technology;
  6. National science, technology and innovation statistics;
  7. Linkages between government, research, academia, industry and the society;

State Department for  Technical Vocational Training


The vision for the TVET sub-sector is to provide skilled and globally competitive employable human resource


To provide, promote and co-ordinate the training sector by assuring quality, inclusiveness and relevance for the enhancement of the national economy and global competitiveness.


To provide relevant and adequate skills and competencies in strategic disciplines by 2020 for spurring industrial and economic development in line with the aspirations of the Kenyan peoples

The main objective of TVET is to develop an effectively co-ordinated and harmonized TVET system that is capable of producing quality skilled human resource with the right attitudes and values required for growth and prosperity of the various sectors of the economy.

Specific objectives of TVET are to: –

  • Provide adequate and appropriate skilled Artisans, Craftsmen, Technicians and Technologists at all levels of the economy through practical training and work experience;
  • Transfer technology continuously through collaborative approach between TVET institutions and the relevant industries;
    Promote dignity and decency of labour, particularly manual work;
  • Provide increased training opportunities for the increasing school leavers and other trainees to increase employability;
    Provide continuous upgrading of skills and knowledge at the pace and ability of the trainees;
  • Provide a dynamic curriculum responsive to the manpower needs of a dynamic economy;Impart marketable skills, technical know-how and attitudes that respond to contemporary labour market demands by the industry, informal sector and for self-employment;
    The specific functions of the Directorate are:
    • Promotion of standards for technical education
    • Practical/industrial attachment and internship
    • Facilitation of curriculum development
    • Assurance of quality of curriculum implementation
    • Registration of TIVET institutions
    • Coordination of technical and business examinations
    • Assessments of Institutional facilities and capacity for TVET.


  1. Technical and Vocational education Policy Development and Management
  2. Technical Vocational education Training
  3. Management of Institutes of Science and Technology
  4. Management of National Polytechnics
  5. Management of Educational Training Institutes (TVETs)
  6. Management of Technical Training Institutes
  7. Youth Polytechnic and Management of Vocational Training
  8. Apprenticeship and Training Management of Vocational Training