Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Kenyan Universities: Phase II

This project of work contributes to reducing the radicalisation and recruitment of university students in Kenya by empowering students to design and implement their own P/CVE programmes.

Wikimedia Commons | Garissa University College

In the last several years, violent extremist organisations operating in Kenya have sought to radicalise and recruit amongst university students who may have specialised skills of value to their operations. At the same time, not a lot of P/CVE programming has been invested in universities – understanding the threat and effective P/CVE programming for university students – in spite of Kenya’s whole of society approach to addressing issues of P/CVE.

As part of this second iteration of the programme, RUSI aims to build on lessons learned in order to implement a scaled-up project that engages four universities, more students and a focus on how the student-led projects can be made sustainable, beyond programme funding. The programme’s focus is be on violent extremism prevention activities designed and implemented by university students with the support of the RUSI team, addressing the findings identified during research carried out during previous iterations of the programme.

Wikimedia Commons | Garissa University College

Aims and objectives

The programme aims to reduce the risk of university students becoming radicalised and recruited by violent extremist organisations. Research and implementation carried out by RUSI in the first iteration of this project demonstrated that with an understanding of the tenets of P/CVE, project management support and the space to engage on critical issues, university students can support growth in the evidence base for effective P/CVE programmes at the university level.

With this second iteration of the programme, RUSI seeks to build on lessons learned and aims to increase impact. The RUSI team will implement the programme at twice as many universities, reach an even broader base of students and individuals in target university communities and place a renewed emphasis on sustainability, student-led and designed CVE initiatives to carry on beyond the project period.

The programme aims to increase awareness of VE, provide students with the space to engage in inter-faith dialogue, empower students to voice their concerns and debate on critical issues. In addition, RUSI seeks to facilitate an increased capacity of students, staff and faculty to implement P/CVE projects in a university setting followed by a contribution to the evidence bas on effective CVE interventions in university settings for the wider P/CVE community and policy makers. Finally, a robust monitoring and evaluation approach will measure how effective the programme has been in contributing to reducing the risk of university students to radicalisation and recruitment to VEOs in Kenyan universities.

Project sponsor

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

    This programme is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands