Kenya: JKUAT Submits Report on Questionable PhD Degrees

8 October 2019

Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) has finally submitted a report to the Commission for University (CUE) on the questionable 118 PhDs that the institution awarded graduates in June this year.

CUE chief executive officer Mwenda Ntarangwi said they will study the report and advise the university accordingly.

"We had demands that we put to the university to fulfil and we will be looking at them in the coming days," Prof Ntarangwi told Nation but declined to reveal the contents of the report.

After the award of the PhDs, CUE launched investigations and which revealed shocking details on failure by the University to follow laid down procedures in award of the degrees.

The University Senate was then given three months to meet and review the PhDs that were awarded during the 33rd Graduation ceremony held on June 21.

CUE directed the University to submit evidence of the students' publication of two articles in referred journals for each PhD awarded failure to which the non-conforming PhDs would be recalled until the graduation requirement is fulfilled.

CUE also directed JKUAT to review all PhDs awarded in the past graduations.

A total of 327 PhD degrees and 2,101 master's degrees were awarded during the 31st, 32nd and 33rd graduation ceremonies held between June 2018, November 2018, and June 2019.

The CUE report revealed poor monitoring of students' progress during PhD training and there was non-adherence to the University Statutes in; allocation of supervisors, constitution of Board of Examiners, conduct of student seminar presentations and evidence of supervision.

"There was non-adherence to the guidelines with respect to; supervision load and duration of research component of PhD programme ," read the report.

Vice Chancellor Victoria Ngumi defended the institution saying all degrees of the University are meritoriously earned and no student is allowed to graduate without going through the due process regarding coursework, seminars, original research, external examination and publications.

However, Tuesday, the management of the university was not available for comment as the communication department did reply to email or pick calls.

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