Thousands of graduates, including politicians, risk having their university degrees withdrawn after an audit report revealed unorthodox means used by students and higher learning institutions to gain admissions.
According to the report, contraventions include admission of students who do not meet the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) mean grade C+ requirement for degree programmes but instead based qualification on pre-university courses, bridging courses and P1 (Primary 1) certificates.
Scores of those who may be affected are politicians who have been trooping into universities in recent years to acquire degree to meet electoral office requirements, most of them suspected to have bought their admissions corruptly.
Several of the more than 70 public and private universities have not been adhering to the admissions criteria, with hundreds students in parallel programmes securing entry to undergraduate programmes using pre-university and bridging programmes which are not recognized in law, according to the report.
Details of the report were made available yesterday during a stakeholders meeting that brought together Commission for University Education (CUE), Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and principals of university colleges.
Releasing the report at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i expressed concern over the rampant academic theft in several of institutions of higher learning with many shortcuts employed by students and universities to beat quality standards .
Matiang’i said the findings of the report on the “Quality Inspection of Universities” contained ‘serious challenges’ that must be corrected.
Also to be affected in the purge are individuals who hold doctorate degrees (Phds) acquired using executive degree papers who will consequently be barred from either teaching in local universities or holding senior positions in government.
All individuals who pursued executive degrees will have their papers recalled and such programmes suspended, recommends the report.
Also to be affected are individuals with honorary degrees awarded in contravention of the universities standards and guidelines, who shall have their papers recalled .
The report indicts Kenyan universities, stating that several of them operate without instituting internal quality assurance policies, systems and mechanisms, in line with the Universities Regulations, thus opening avenues for admission and graduation of non-qualified individuals.