Reforms: New tough rules to curb despised courses

Commission for University Education (CUE) has proposed that academic programmes that fail to attract students be scrapped after four years.

CUE also proposed that it verifies all the available resources for each academic programme within six months, and only accredit the courses once the university has met the requirements of the programme.

The regulator will only approve programmes that are supported by adequate resources including infrastructure, academic staff and library resources.

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“An approved academic programme that does not attract adequate students for a period of four years should be deemed to be obsolete and discontinued,” the regulations say.

The proposals are contained in the draft Universities Regulations, which will be subjected to stakeholders’ engagement.

The commission has been improving the document before subjecting it to public participation.

A university and constituent college, the regulations say, will not mount an academic programme without approval and accreditation of the commission.

Constituent college

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The commission will verify academic resources available in the constituent college or campus and determine the number of academic programmes to be offered based on the resources.

CUE will also verify academic resources to support any additional academic programmes.

In addition, a university will be required to demonstrate that all students enrolled into various academic programmes get the requisite instruction hours.

“A revised academic programme submitted to the commission will be deemed to be a new programme, thus warranting evaluation, if its core course content is over 30 per cent different from the programme in the original curriculum.”

It further states that the validity of approval of an academic programme will be up to graduation of one cohort.

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“For purposes of renewal of the approval, a university will undertake a programme self-assessment as provided for under these regulations.”

CUE will engage qualified peer reviewers, experts, resource persons, professionals and professional bodies in evaluation of academic programmes and institutional audits. 

Other proposals fronted by the commission are that the minimum number of students in an institution be 400, and minimum number of students in an undergraduate course be 15. 

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