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New rules lock out lecturers without PhD qualifications

By Augustine Oduor | March 25th 2017

University academic staff who have not completed their doctorate degrees will not be allowed to lecture students or get promoted, new rules say.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) appointment and promotions guidelines spell out academic qualifications that must be met and publications done before one moves up their teaching career ladder.

The guidelines reconcile with another set of CUE recommendations that require lecturers to be PhD holders. Universities will be required to phase out the position of assistant lecturer by next year.

It will thus be mandatory for one to have a PhD to teach in a local university. There are about 9,320 academic staff across private universities alone. Latest statistics show there are 636 professors, 756 associate professors, 1,451 senior lecturers, 3,422 lecturers and some 3,055 assistant lecturers.

An earlier communication by outgoing CUE Chief Executive officer Prod David Some, urged all academic staff who do not meet minimum standards to work towards attaining them within five years from commencement of the criteria.

The five years transition period lapses next year, after which CUE shall cease to recognise the position of assistant lecturer.

He said under the new standards, graduate assistants who fail to impress the university administration after their one-year contract will be kicked out. Equally, tutorial fellows who do not satisfy university administration after their two years contract will be shown the door.


However, the new appointment and promotions guidelines lists a total of seven positions an academic staff can hold at the university. They are graduate assistant, tutorial fellows, lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor, professor and adjunct academic staff.

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi has instructed immediate adoption and enforcement of the new CUE guidelines.

A note seen by The Standard on Saturday instructs the relevant offices to ensure compliance.

To be appointed a university lecturer, one must now have a PhD or an equivalent degree qualification in the relevant area from a recognised university.

And those with Masters degrees will be required to have at least three years working experience at university level.

They will also be required to have four equivalent publication points and be registered by a relevant professional body.

To be appointed or promoted to a senior lecturer, one will now have a PhD and at least six equivalent publication points as a lecturer.

The staff must also have supervised at least four postgraduate students to completion as a lecturer and registered by the relevant professional body.


And to be appointed or promoted to an associate professor, one will now be required to have a PhD and at least eight equivalent publication points as a senior lecturer. The staff must also have supervised at least five postgraduate students to completion including one doctoral student and attracted research funds as a senior lecturer.

Those who want to be appointed or promoted to professors will have the mandatory PhD and at least ten equivalent publication points since attaining associate professorship.

The staff must also have supervised at least six postgraduate students to completion, two of whom must be doctoral students and attracted research funds since attaining associate professorship.

The university Senates and Council are required to institutionalise positions of adjunct academic staff whom should be sourced from staff from local and foreign universities.

They will support teaching, research and collaborations at the equivalent grade.

The adjunct academic staff will also be drawn from professionals with at least two years relevant work experience.

These ones will also be holders of PhD or masters qualifications drawn from industry, public and private sector to promote relevance, practical training and linkages.

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