Project Details


Africa’s first smartphone degree programme

By Daystar University

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @DaystarUni

Organisations Involved Daystar University
One University Network Inc.

  • Digital Engagement
  • Education
  • Mobile

It’s not lack of good grades that prevents many Kenyans from pursuing a degree, but lack of physical spaces at universities and expenses associated with attending. 

At the same time, most Kenyans own a smartphone. The GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) estimates that by 2020, there will be six billion smartphone connections, and 80% of them will be in developing markets. 

Daystar University in Nairobi has partnered with California startup OneUni, to bring their degree programmes to more students through Daystar Mobile – Africa’s first degree programme where all course materials are available through a smartphone app. 

Students register by providing the required documents online, after which they receive an email confirming their eligibility. They then download the degree programme app on Google Play to access course materials, which can also be downloaded to other Android devices like laptops and tablets. 

The course materials include lectures, videos and interactive exercises, chat capability to communicate with mentors and other students, and even a data plan that’s included in the monthly programme fees, so students always have access. On completion of each class, students take an in-person invigilated exam, which means the course has credibility, but doesn’t require as much travel and expense to attend. 

The first degree programme commenced in September 2016, and targeted teachers employed in primary and secondary schools who already hold high school diplomas, so they can gain their Bachelor’s degree. Students who achieved the required high school grades, but weren’t able to gain university places due to capacity have also been targeted in recruitment.

As the model is scalable, OneUni and Daystar plan to reach thousands of students, and expand the model across more countries in Africa. Find out more at

Image courtesy of Maureen Lunn

Last updated: 04th of October, 2016

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