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Some university courses are not approved, says report

By Augustine Oduor | Published Fri, February 17th 2017 at 00:00, Updated February 16th 2017 at 21:57 GMT +3

A new audit has revealed massive irregularities in programmes taught in local universities.

The report released Thursday shows some universities have mounted courses to which students are never admitted.

"Some of universities did not provide evidence of approval of programmes they offer by respective senates while others had programmes approved by the Commission for University Education (CUE) but had no students," reads the report.

"There was also evidence of premature specialisation at undergraduate level. In some instances, students graduated from unaccredited academic programmes," reads the report.

The report comes months after another audit put public and private universities on the spot, accusing them of diluting quality of higher education by introducing many courses.

Status of Higher Education Report 2016 said some programmes are narrow in scope and not marketable.

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It further found that most programmes universities offer are similar, resulting into over production of similar skills.

"The current findings have clearly indicated that private and public universities in Kenya have prioritised programmes in Business Administration, Humanities and Arts," reads the 2016 report that explains that too much concentration on Arts, at the expense of sciences, is likely to frustrate some sectors of society.

In the report released Thursday, CUE says following commencement of the Universities (amendment) Act, (2017), the commission must approve all academic programmes.

Academic programmes

"The commission will not recognise awards to students admitted into academic programmes mounted subsequent to this date without approval by commission," says the report.

The 2016 report revealed that most of the 21 listed clusters do not have programmes in universities while some are over represented.

"The clusters with the highest number of programmes are business and business administration with 32 programmes, agriculture, forestry and fisheries with 30 programmes, humanity and arts with 28 and life sciences and physical sciences with 20 programmes," the report said.

Other science-oriented clusters such as architecture, engineering, veterinary and law were sharply under-represented, says the report.

Education CS Fred Matiang'i, while ordering the audit on universities said degrees and other certificates awarded to individuals without proper qualifications will be withdrawn and the universities punished.