- In the letter to CUE chairman Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha dated December 22, Dr Matiang’i wants a report to be submitted to him by January 31.
- The investigation was triggered by reports that some universities were admitting ineligible students into their degree programmes.
Prominent personalities, most of them seeking political seats in next year’s General Election, face the risk of being stripped of their degrees following a new investigation into universities abusing student admission requirements.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has written to the Commission for University Education (CUE) ordering a month-long audit of the 70-plus public and private universities to establish those that have offered degrees to unqualified people.
In the letter to CUE chairman Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha dated December 22, Dr Matiang’i wants a report to be submitted to him by January 31.
The investigation was triggered by reports that some universities were admitting ineligible students into their degree programmes.
Also cited were irregularities in examination systems and incidents of students missing their marks. Some universities were running unaccredited academic programmes, he said.
“The net effect of the poor state of the university sector is a reflection of, to say the least, the ineffectiveness of your commission to carry out its mandate, as the sole legal body charged with the responsibility of ensuring quality in university education in Kenya,” said Dr Matiang’i.
The probe report is expected to include evidence, clear action points and recommendations on what action should be taken on universities that will be found to have broken the law.
According to the letter, the commission is required to establish the status of qualification of students pursuing degrees, including the extent to which universities are complying with the admission criteria.
The commission is also required to look into management of students’ records; from admissions, examinations and graduation records.
“The report should clearly stipulate the commission’s undertaking and to ensure enhanced quality university education in Kenya,” Dr Matiang’i says in the letter.
The investigation should establish if there are credible and supporting documents for each of the students enrolled in the respective academic programmes.
Specifically, the commission will also have to establish if there have been any unqualified individuals who were admitted to academic programmes and awarded degrees and diplomas in the last five years.
Ahead of next year’s General Election, when it was hoped aspirants for various positions will be required to have degrees, there has been a rush by many to acquire degrees.
In the letter, the CS said he expects, where necessary, to see far-reaching measures, which might include, and not limited to, cancellation of admissions of unqualified individuals, withdrawal of awards given to undeserving individuals, recommendations on revocation of Letters of Interim Authority or Charters of institutions that have flouted the guidelines.
Dr Matiang’i said he had taken the decision following concerns, complaints and petitions which suggest that all is not well within public and private universities.
“Most of these concerns indicate that some universities are not adhering to the legal framework for university education in Kenya and, more specifically, the set standards and guidelines,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Dr Matiang’i has also demanded reports on security audit and on the implementation of the biometric identification system in all universities.
The Universities Act of 2012 mandates the commission to advise the cabinet secretary on policy relating to university education, develop a policy for criteria and requirements for admission to universities.