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Household Poverty Level and Access to Tertiary Education in Nyamira County Kenya

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate how household poverty level affects access to tertiary education in Nyamira County, Kenya. The study applied descriptive and retrospective research designs and used both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis. The study targeted 163,186 people from five sub-counties from which a sample size of 415 households and tertiary institution administrators responded to data collection tools. The study used purposive sampling technique for tertiary institution administrators and stratified random sampling for households. From the findings, education level of their parents or guardians affected their access to higher education. Further, Findings revealed that children from households headed by parents with low education level are more unlikely to attend tertiary institution. Findings showed that that family size affects tertiary education. According to findings, large size household spent more in terms of educational expenses than small sized households. According to findings, there are cultural factors in their locality that influenced access to tertiary education. Findings revealed that females are not valued like their male counterparts by their parents when it comes to education opportunities. It was recommended that the government should make access to tertiary education easier by coming up with more programs which financially supports students who have competed form four to easily access tertiary education, moreover, the government should do more sensitization to the society on the importance of supporting education of all children regardless of gender as well as importance of tertiary education. Key Words: household poverty, parent’s education level, household income, size of household, cultural practices, tertiary education

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