The University of Nairobi is implementing tough academic research guidelines aimed at tightening the quality of research papers for all its postgraduate programmes.
The university has capped the number of students a supervisor can take up and enforced a mandatory use of anti-plagiarism software on all research works across all academic levels.
The Standard has established that all university faculties, centers and schools have been instructed to ensure all research proposals done by masters students are run through anti-plagiarism software.
This means that all students currently undertaking research work will only have their research proposals moved to the next level after successfully passing the professional checks.
Previously some schools, faculties and centers only ran the anti-plagiarism software on the final research product.
The new guidelines issued by the Graduate School take effect immediately. The Board of Post Graduate Studies was recently converted into Graduate School and Prof Lydia Njenga appointed the director.
The Standard has learnt that Prof Njenga, has firmly instructed that only students whose research proposals have passed the critical test will be allowed to proceed to the field.
Communication from School of Journalism Post Graduate Committee chairman Dr. Samuel Siringi summons all graduate students cohorts to an urgent meeting today.
"Please attend an emergency meeting on Thursday to familiarize with the rules. You must attend regardless of the progress of your research work," reads the communication seen by The Standard.
Under the new requirements, PhD holders will only supervise up to a maximum of five students. And for doctorate programmes, supervisors will only be allowed to oversee research work of a maximum of three students.
The Graduate School director has also instructed that starting 2016/2017academic year; every PhD programme must introduce course work for those that did not have.
This means that there will be no PhD by research. The new requirements are in line with the Commission for University Education standards and guidelines (2014).
It also comes days after Prof Njenga communicated the CUE directive that each masters students must publish at least one article in a refereed journal before they are allowed to graduate. PhD students are required to publish at least two articles before they are allowed to graduate.
Speaking during the launch of Nairobi Innovation Week, Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi said the university is committed to providing quality education.
"In order to remain relevant and successful, the university's strategy has to be tailored to respond to the challenges emanating from this environment," said Mbithi.