Vice chancellors defend courses rejected by CUE

Commission for University Education (CUE) has not received any formal request to review courses from any of the universities under scrutiny.

But as CUE chief executive officer Mwenda Ntarangwi made the announcement, some institutions whose programmes the commission had rejected announced they were not offering unapproved courses.

Tom Mboya University College in Homa Bay County said all its courses had been approved by CUE.

The college’s Principal Charles Ochola said the university currently offers 13 programmes and not 37 as alleged by CUE.

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According to CUE, the college, a constituent of Maseno University, offers 37  programmes, 25 which have not been approved.

But yesterday, Prof Ochola said Tom Mboya only offered courses that were studied at the parent university.

“The regulations require that a constituent university college offers courses of the parent university. We are currently offering only 13 courses, which belong to Maseno University,” said Ochola.

The principal said they had applied for 12 additional courses, which had been approved by Maseno University. The courses, however, have not been implemented.

Similarly, Lukenya University defended its programmes, saying CUE approved its Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Education (Arts) in 2015.

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Lukenya further explained that CUE, in its letter of Interim Authority to establish the university, granted the institution powers to advertise a programme or programmes of instructions expected to be conducted and admit students to such programmes as approved by the commission.

“Interim authority is hereby granted to Lukenya University to commence or continue development of physical facilities, commence or continue assembly of academic resources,” reads part of the interim letter dated November 16, 2015.

Ongoing process

But Prof Ntarangwi said by yesterday he had not received any communication from universities whose courses had been rejected.

“If we get any request from any university, I shall let you know,” said Ntarangwi.

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Last week, Ntarangwi said the commission was in communication with the universities.

“This is still an ongoing process, and we are in consultation with the universities,” he said then in reference to the courses his commission had rejected ahead of the placement of first year students.

Most university bosses yesterday steered clear of the rejected programmes’ debate. However, some said they would raise the issue on Friday during a meeting called to deliberate the status of university education in Kenya.

The meeting was called by the National Assembly Education Committee chaired by Julius Melly to discuss, among others, funding, governance and quality in universities.

Vice Chancellors Committee chairperson Francis Aduol declined to comment on the matter. “As at now we have no comment,” said Prof Aduol.

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It, however, emerged that the courses’ debate was a hot topic among institutions’ management, with CUE put on the spot for rejecting programmes that students were already studying in many universities.

Alarm bells on rejection of the programmes started ringing late last year after it emerged that Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) declined to upload some of the courses.

Inside reports tell of VCs’ failed attempts to have a meeting with CUE to resolve the matter.

KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri also declined to comment on the matter.

Asked whether the KUCCPS had opened the portal to allow students to access the said programmes, Mr Muraguri said: “Kindly, I am in a meeting, please. I will call you back.”

He had not called back by the time of going to press.

Earlier, some VCs who spoke to The Standard accused CUE of being insensitive.

“Students are already studying these programmes. Why is CUE trying to set universities against students? This is unacceptable. There are better ways of engaging universities,” one of them said.

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Commission for University EducationDegree coursesVice chancellors