Audit to weed out rogue universities to start next week

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. (Photo: David Njaaga/Standard)

An audit directed by Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i to unearth the rot in universities will start next week.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) has announced that it will kick off the quality inspection audit from January 23 to February 3.

CUE Secretary Prof David Some said the inspection will cover both public and private universities authorised to operate in the country.

This, he said in a statement, is to assure the public and other stakeholders that it is taking appropriate measures to safeguard the quality of university education as stipulated in the Universities Act of 2012, Universities regulations 2014 and Universities Standards and Guidelines of 2014.

"Consequently, the commission wishes to inform the public that it is undertaking a Quality Audit Inspection of all universities (public and private) authorized to operate in Kenya scheduled to commence from January 23 to February 3," said Some.

A letter dated December 22, 2016 from Education CS directed the commission to carry out a thorough audit inspection on universities and have a report submitted on his desk by January 31, 2017.

But with CUE announcing the audit to start seven days to the deadline, it means the report will be late by at least a week

In the letter, Matiang'i had put the commission on the spot saying it has failed in its responsibility to inject sanity into the education sector.

"Concerns, complaints, petitions and representations reaching my office suggest all is not well within the public and private universities in Kenya," said the CS.

Matiang'i said specifically, concern has been raised on admission of illegible students, irregularities into the exam systems, certification of students without due attainment academic programmes and running unaccredited programmes.

"The net effect of the poor state of the university sector is a reflection of, to say the least, the ineffectiveness of your commission(CUE) to carry out its mandate, as the sole legal body charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality in university education," said Matiang'i in a letter addressed to CUE Chair Prof Chacha Nayigoti Chacha.

CUE Secretary Prof Some said areas that will be focused on in the week long audit are admission requirements to degree programmes, quality and integrity of examinations and dissertations, and evidence of accredited programmes.

Others are measures taken to de-ethnize the university the academic and non-academic staff and how allocations of funds to cater for research and library resources are utilized.

"The commission reiterates its commitment to assuring quality of university education offered in Kenya. The public is welcome to inform the commission on any institution breaching any of the set standards," said Some.