Career Development Challenges Faced by Undergraduate Student Mothers in Public Universities in Kenya

Joyce M. A. Lugulu


This study examined challenges faced by undergraduate student mothers in public universities in Kenya, a case study of three public universities in Uasin Gishu County. The population of this group of students is gradually rising, balancing motherhood and studies is a challenge that all of them must confront.  The purpose of this study was to find out how they can be assisted to balance studies and motherhood.  This investigation adopted a mixed approach methodology with a case study design.  Purposive sampling was used to select forty nine (49) participants, consisting of forty three (43) student mothers, three (3) leaders of Student Governing Councils and three (3) administrators. Tools for data collection included questionnaire, interviews for administrators and students leaders. Focused Group Discussions (FGD) were used to gather in- depth information from students’ participants. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses. The major findings indicated that public universities do not have exclusive administrative, financial, social and physical structures in place to address the plight of undergraduate student mothers. They face many challenges including, stigma, misunderstandings with spouses/families/partners, financial constraints, accommodation problems and inability to balance motherhood and studies. It was recommended that public universities should provide financial, psychological and social support to these students to help them balance motherhood and studies. Aggressive programs should be initiated by public universities to create awareness of the challenges of motherhood and acceptance of oneself to guard against low self-esteem. 

Career development, Challenges, Undergraduate Student Mother, Public University

Contact details: Dr. Joyce Musoga Lugulu, Moi University, College of Health Sciences. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



To cite this article:Lugulu Joyce M. A, Career Development Challenges Faced by Undergraduate Student Mothers in Public Universities in Kenya, Journal of African Studies in Educational Management and Leadership, Vol. 6, pp. 53-68, 2015


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Available online August  2015
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