HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE
The Department of Real Estate has been in existence under different names since 1956 when the Royal College (presently University of Nairobi) was established. During the period 1956 – 1966, the Department was called Department of Land Development and was under the Faculty of Commerce. In 1967 undergraduate programmes commenced and the first students were admitted into the Bachelor of Arts in Land Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Building Economics. The programme took three years and the first group graduated in 1970. In 1970 the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Development (FADD) was formed with the Department of Land Development as part of the Faculty.
The Department of Land Development existed until 1991 when it was split into Departments of Building Economics & Management and Land Development. These Departments existed until 2005.
In 2005 there was a University schools’ restructuring. This saw the creation of the School of the Built Environment and the merger of the Departments of Land Development and Building Economics and Management into the Department of Real Estate and Construction Management.
In December 2019, the Department of Real Estate and Construction Management was split again to form the present Department of Real Estate and the Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying.
From 1956 to 1966 the academic programmes that were offered were those of a British professional body, The Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors (RICS). The first degree programmes in the Department were Bachelor of Arts in Land Economics and Bachelor of Arts in Building Economics that admitted their first students in 1967. The training led to the production of Valuation and Quantity Surveying professions (Valuers and Quantity Surveyors).
Around 1984 the Department of Land Development introduced a Master of Arts degree in Housing Administration and a Master of Arts in Building Management.
In 1999 the Department of Land Development introduced a Certificate course in Estate Agency this has since been upgraded into a Diploma which targets self-sponsored students. In the same year, the Department of Land Development introduced a Master of Arts in Valuation & Property Management with the first class of this programme graduating in 2001.
In 2006, the Bachelor of Arts in Building Economics was reviewed to become the current Bachelor of Quantity Surveying. The first group of this programme graduated in 2010. In 2007 a new degree program, the Bachelor of Construction Management, (BCM) was introduced with the first group graduating in 2011.
The Bachelor of Arts in Land Economics degree was reviewed in 2006 into the current Bachelor of Real Estate (BRE) with the first class being admitted in 2009 and graduating in 2013.
In 2012, the Department in conjunction with the Ministry of Housing introduced a Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Administration and the first group of 37 students completed the programme are were conferred with their diplomas in 2013.
The Department of Real Estate offers the following programmes:
- Diploma in Estate Agency and Property Management
- Bachelor of Real Estate
- Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Administration (offered in 2012/2013)
- Master (in Valuation and Property Management)
- Master (in Housing Administration)
- Doctor of Philosophy in Land Economics
The pioneer lecturers of the Department of Real Estate (up to 1975) were Mr R. H. Nelms (Head of Department); Mr Robertson Dunn (Lecturer in Valuation) and Prof. Saad Yahya (Lecturer in Valuation). In 1975 the University recruited the following additional staff: Prof. George King’oriah; Prof. Paul Syagga and the late Mr Gitonga Aritho. Other members joined the staff after 1978 including Dr Kituuka, Mr Mwaka, Mr Kasozi Musoke, Prof. Crispus Kiamba, Mr Nicky Nzioki, among others.
The first graduates in the Bachelor of Arts in Land Economics programme joined in 1967 and included; Prof. George King’oriah, Dr Ole Keriasek, Shem Bageine (Minister in Uganda), John Mbuu, Hon. Nduati Kariuki (Former MP & County Assembly Speaker in Muranga), Mr Kigunda (Former Chief GoK Valuer) and Mr Mumela (Former Chief Valuer ICDC).
In its existence, the Department has produced many leading public servants, politicians and private practitioners including Prof. Crispus Kiamba, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi and former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology; Prof. Swazuri, a former Chairman of the National Land Commission; Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, the current leader of the Amani Coalition, former Member of Kenya’s Parliament and Former Vice President; Hon. Dr Julius Malombe, former Governor for Kitui County; the late Governor Gachagua, Nyeri County; Former Minister Esther Murungi; MPs Hon. Kilonzo; Hon. Kioni; Hon. Mwanzia; Hon. Nduati, among many others. In the private sector practitioners, there are many leading alumni like Mr David Masika of Lloyd Masika Ltd., Mr Simon Thagata of Tysons Ltd, etc.