7 March 2018

Kenya: CUE Seeks to End Duplication of Degree Programmes

Public universities will not be allowed to duplicate degree programmes offered by other institutions, if new proposals by the Commission for University Education are approved.

In the proposals, each university will have unique programmes as CUE moves to ensure that the institutions train students based on their strength and stop focusing on making money.

Several universities that were started from 2013, copied all courses that their mentor universities were offering leading to duplication.

An audit report on universities by CUE released last year, revealed that there was duplication of academic programmes based on competition for self-sponsored students.


The audit revealed that public and private universities had prioritised programmes in business administration, humanities and arts.

In the proposed amendments by CUE on university regulations, the institutions will only be allowed to run academic programmes on condition that they have adequate resources including infrastructure, academic staff and library resources.

The minimum number of students required per institution will be 400 while minimum number of students in a course in an academic programme for undergraduate will be 15.

Approved academic programmes that will not attract adequate students for a period of four years will be deemed obsolete.


The regulations further state that the validity of approval of an academic programme will be up to graduation of one cohort.

Universities will also not be allowed to mount academic programmes without prior approval and accreditation by the commission.

This will be a departure from the current situation where a university submits proposals for new programmes to CUE for accreditation within six months for chartered universities and prior to mounting for universities with Letters of Interim Authority.

A fresh university audit report released this year by CUE revealed that some universities are offering programmes not approved by the commission while others had programmes approved but had no students at the time of audit.


Cases where universities changed or varied the titles of academic programmes were also reported.

Professional bodies will not be required to grant approval to the commission before a university is allowed to rollout a programme, instead they will formulate, develop and implement standards for engaging professional bodies.

"CUE shall apply national and international best practice and excellent initiatives in the development of university standards.

"It shall document and disseminate at institutional, national and international best practice and excellent initiatives," the regulations state.


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