The Commission for University Education (CUE) has explained why it has not approved certain academic programmes offered in a number of local universities.
It emerged that some of the universities were barred from offering certain courses because they did not have adequate facilities in line with the set standards and guidelines.
According to CUE, the Universities Standards and Guidelines require that each programme is supported by a minimum of two lecture rooms for a four-year programme.
This means that the affected universities did not have requisite classrooms to accommodate students in the declared courses and must now comply.
CUE says the conditions must be met for the courses to be regularised.
It also emerged that some universities had not filed minutes of the Senate meetings with the Commission approving certain programmes to be taught in constituent colleges.
Parent universities are expected to nurse the constituent colleges for up to four years. In addition, CUE said some universities split some courses, making them too thin and narrow in scope.
For instance, some universities split already approved programmes into subsets and each of the subsets declared a degree programme.
The commission wants the split programmes merged for them to be approved and made available to students.
An audit report seen by The Standard listed several courses that had been split by various universities, with many others renamed by the institutions.
The report contained more than 130 programmes offered in different local public and private universities.
Most of the programmes were outrightly not approved by the Commission while some were denied students because of inadequate capacities.
Yesterday, CUE said some universities were asked to commit in writing to make changes to the programmes before approvals could be granted.
"Some universities with unapproved but running programmes have been directed to commit themselves in writing to have the programmes accredited, even as they mount them," said Commission Chief Executive Officer Mwenda Ntarangwi.
CUE said the report emerged after it instituted an audit last year on request of the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) for a validated courses register.
The Commission says a total of 1,828 programmes were subjected to a examination on KUCCPS' request.
“Based on the preliminary examination, the Commission raised a few basic compliance issues with some of the programmes,” said Prof Ntarangwi.
The results of the audit were contained in a working document that formed the basis for further consultations with CUE and individual universities ahead of this years placement.
Ntarangwi said the regulator expected universities to stop declaring options within already approved programmes as separate degree courses for placement of students.
He said only a few new programmes that had been mounted but did not have students enrolled were affected.
The statement sought to allay fears that students taking courses that were not approved would be affected, and came after Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed chaired a meeting at Jogoo House that brought together senior officials of CUE.
“The Commission wishes to assure members of the public, especially students, that they should not panic about the programmes they are already enrolled in,” said Ntarangwi.