Self-sponsored varsity students to be vetted

All self-sponsored students set to join higher learning institutions will be vetted by the Council of University Education (CUE).

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has issued the directive amid concerns that learners with poor grades are being admitted to professional courses like Law and Engineering.

“It’s the mandate of the commission to carry out the audit annually. The audit will help reveal entry qualifications of university students. Such audits are the global practice,” Matiang’i said.

Upon completion of the vetting process, Matiang’i said CUE will be required to publish the student enrollment data, including their qualifications in a bid to boost the quality of university education.

The Cabinet Secretary said the move has been occasioned by a number of concerns raised by professional bodies over the quality of students enrolled in courses like engineering and law.

“Professional organisations have spoken to me, the Council of Legal Education and Engineer Board of Kenya, among others, have raised concerns.

Matiang’i said even employers through the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) have raised concerns over the quality of graduates, arguing that entry-level workers lack workplace skills.

The Cabinet Secretary asked universities to confront cheating like plagiarism that hurt quality and relevance of research. “Universities must set up new standards of excellence for graduate programs to safeguard the quality higher education,” he added.

Matiang’i made the remarks during the official opening of a two-day symposium on managing university research and publications at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) in Nairobi.

State-sponsored students are admitted by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) while universities admit the self-sponsored students on their own.

The minister asked universities to confront cheating like plagiarism that hurt quality and relevance of research. “Universities must set up new standards of excellence for graduate programmes to safeguard the quality higher education,” he added.

On research, the CS urged university managers to apply for the National Research Fund (NRF) Sh3 billion that the government has allocated for research to expand research and innovation programs among local universities.

Matiang’i said the Government is in the process of consolidating research programs from local universities to fund viable research programs the country can use as leverage in seeking practical and sustainable solutions to Kenya`s social and economic focal problems.

The fund seeks to engage universities as centers of academic excellence in scientific innovations that will alleviate poverty and disease through models with multiple wealth creation opportunities for citizens.

 

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