By Boniface Muoka
An audit report prepared by the Commission for University Education (CUE) has revealed that malpractices in public and private universities have contributed to low quality standards of education.
A joint Quality Assurance Working Group has been set up to address the malpractices by implementing the findings of the report and ensure each university adheres to high quality standards.
The Group will have representation from university chancellors, vice chancellors; council of universities, and CUE.
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i announced the establishment of the working group after deliberating the report’s findings and recommendations with top management teams of public and private universities, in a four-hour closed-door meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Nairobi.
Among the malpractices identified by the audit report are failure by some universities to adhere to the law in admission of students and inadequate teaching staff.
The report noted that some universities were breaching the law by allowing students to enroll for undergraduate programmes after undergoing pre-university and bridging programmes.
There have been concerns that some individuals, including politicians who do not meet qualifications for university admission are being irregularly enrolled and awarded degrees. This is in an attempt for them to meet the graduate legal requirement to pursue specific elective seats like gubernatorial and Member of Parliament.
Matiang’i said as part of implementing the audit report findings, irregular awarding of degrees by universities to undeserving students will be addressed on a case by case basis.
“We will do everything according to the law to improve the quality of university education. There are serious issues raised in the audit report which need to be addressed in a consultative way. That is why we have formed the joint Quality Assurance Working Group,” said Matiang’i.
The closed-door meeting was attended by University Education Principal Secretary Prof. Colleta Suda; public and private university chancellors, vice chancellors, and council chairmen; Commission for University Education (CUE) officials led by Chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha; and senior Ministry of Education officials.
Nyaigotti-Chacha said the audit report findings concurred with exit reports carried out by university vice chancellors.
He said CUE has prepared and shared audit reports with each university, identifying areas which need to be addressed and that the joint Quality Assurance Group will guide the process.