21 February 2019

Kenya: CUE Denies Delisting 133 Courses in Varsities

Nairobi — The Commission for University Education (CUE) has denied delisting 133 courses offered in 26 universities saying a report it issued earlier this year was non-conclusive.

According to the commission, the report compiled following a validation request from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) in November last year reviewed some 1,828 degree programmes offered in universities as at August last year, out of which over 130 courses affecting more than 10,000 students were found to be non-compliant to set guidelines.

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, the commission's secretary Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi said the council was working with affected universities to have the guidelines complied with.

"The compliance issues were contained in an initial non-conclusive working document that formed the basis for further consultations with CUE and individual universities ahead of the commencement of the selection process on February 6, 2019," he said.

"The Commission has worked with the relevant agencies to ensure that the compliance issues raised against the majority of the programmes have been addressed," Prof Ntarangwi elaborated.

He said the commission had since allowed the KUCCPS to admit new students to the affected courses for the 2019/20 academic year as respective universities address compliance concerns.

Prof Ntarangwi however said clearance for new programmes falling short of the threshold set by the Commission had been suspended, with the universities expected to evaluate them to prepare them for eligibility in the 2020/21 academic year placement.

"The Commission will continue to work with the affected universities with a view to prepare these programmes for legibility of placement in the 2020/2021 academic year," he said.

In a bid to courses offered in universities, CUE directed the tertiary institutions to strictly adhere to global standards outlined in the commission's 2014 guidelines.

Parent universities were directed to provide minutes of Senate meetings authorizing the teaching of courses they offer at constituent colleges even as they file a list on non-accredited programmes, if any.

In an apparent move to address the haphazard conversion of subset subjects into fully-fledged degree courses, CUE directed universities to "stop declaring options within approved programmes as separate programmes."

Prof Ntarangwi said "some universities with unapproved, but running, programmes have been directed to commit themselves in writing to have the programmes accredited even as they mount them," while reassuring students who are already enrolled in such programmes.

Among courses CUE's preliminary report had raised questions on are political science, geography, development and policy studies, community development, and geography all offered under Bachelor of Arts.

Other arts courses the commission had listed as non-compliant in its initial report were international relations, peace studies, dietetics, and public administration and governance.

Botany, informatics and statistics were among science courses whose conformity to CUE guidelines had been put to question.

Tom Mboya University College, Garissa University College, Embu University, and Kisii University - all constituent colleges - were found to be offering twenty-five, eight, six, and five courses respectively without CUE's clearance.

According to CUE guidelines, universities are required to have at least two lecture rooms for each four-year course they offer.

Kenya

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