Group formed to address quality of education in varsities

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.

A section of Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice-Chancellors of Universities follow proceedings during their a meeting Thursday, February 16, 2017 on quality audit of universities in Kenya conducted in January and February 2017 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi. Dr. Matiang’i together with the Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice-Chancellors held a Press Conference after their meeting on quality audit of universities. The statement given out to journalists read in part said: “The purpose of the Quality Audit was to establish the extent to which universities were complying with the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012 and the Amendments thereto, the Universities Regulations, 2014; and the Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014.”
A section of Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice-Chancellors of Universities follow proceedings during their a meeting Thursday, February 16, 2017 on quality audit of universities in Kenya conducted in January and February 2017 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi. Dr. Matiang’i together with the Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice-Chancellors held a Press Conference after their meeting on quality audit of universities.
The statement given out to journalists read in part said: “The purpose of the Quality Audit was to establish the extent to which universities were complying with the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012 and the Amendments thereto, the Universities Regulations, 2014; and the Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014.”

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.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i (Left) with his Principal Secretary for Higher Education, Prof Colleta Suda speaks during a meeting of Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice Chancellors of Universities on quality audit of universities in Kenya conducted in January and February 2017 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi Thursday, February 16, 2017. Dr. Matiang’i together with Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice-Chancellors held a Press Conference after their meeting press statement on quality audit of universities. The statement given out to journalists read in part said: “The purpose of the Quality Audit was to establish the extent to which universities were complying with the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012 and the Amendments thereto, the Universities Regulations, 2014; and the Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014.”
Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’i (Left) with his Principal Secretary for Higher Education, Prof Colleta Suda speaks during a meeting of Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice Chancellors of Universities on quality audit of universities in Kenya conducted in January and February 2017 at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi Thursday, February 16, 2017. Dr. Matiang’i together with Chancellors, Chairs of Councils and Vice-Chancellors held a Press Conference after their meeting press statement on quality audit of universities.
The statement given out to journalists read in part said: “The purpose of the Quality Audit was to establish the extent to which universities were complying with the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012 and the Amendments thereto, the Universities Regulations, 2014; and the Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014.”
  

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