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University of Nairobi dismisses report casting doubt on its courses

By Standard Reporter | Updated Fri, March 3rd 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
University of Nairobi (UoN). (Photo: Courtesy)

The University of Nairobi (UoN) has termed as scandalous a report questioning the credibility of its degree programmes.

Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi said the institution was a reputable organisation with a strong tradition of excellence.

Prof Mbithi further said the audit report by the Commission for University Education (CUE) did not mention the university for providing sub-standard education.

He termed media reports listing UoN among universities offering fake, "useless" degrees as "extremely careless, slanderous and disgraceful to the Kenyan people and all great men and women in the region".

"In the Commission for University Education report on the University of Nairobi audit of February 16, 2017, which is available for public scrutiny, there is no mention of such findings," said Mbithi.

The commission had threatened to block student admissions for one year in institutions accused of not meeting the set standards.

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This followed damning findings of a CUE quality audit report released by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i last week.

The shocking report revealed several breaches, including flaws in meeting minimum admissions requirements, missing test scores, abuse of executive masters' degrees and academic theft. Also revealed were major abuses on credit accumulation and transfers, skewed progression records, unmerited awarding of honorary degrees and sub-standard theses or research projects.

The findings of the Exit Report were so damning that the ministry censored the main report, only making available a deeply edited and summarised document.

The audit covered the period after the enactment of the Universities Act (2012) and 2016. A cursory analysis of graduated students between 2010 and 2014 shows about 120,000 graduated.

And if the universities are accused of having tolerated serious academic quality breaches, questions arise about whether the degrees acquired within the said period met the strict standards set by CUE.

The report implied the credibility of up to 120,000 degrees issued during this period was in doubt.

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