Scholars have welcomed Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha’s directive that investigations be carried out on the PhDs awarded by local universities following concerns that some of the postgraduate degrees were substandard or were obtained irregularly.
Prof Kiarie Mwaura, who is the Dean of School of Law and Professor of Law at the University of Nairobi, and Prof Macharia Munene, a long serving lecturer of history, having taught at UoN and later United States International University, said such a mess could degrade the respect and purpose of higher education.
Prof Mwaura, who was among five professors who were last month promoted to full professorship by the UoN council, the highest rank that a professor can achieve, said irregular awarding of postgraduate degrees would compromise the quality of teaching and research in the universities.
Speaking at Elysian Resort on Kiambu Road, Nairobi, on Saturday night, during celebrations to mark his achievements organised by Murang’a County Initiative and attended by a number of professors from the county, the don said universities should be cautious of the trend, saying it will kill the purpose of education.
“Universities should be weary that such things could be happening and they need to be on the look out to make sure it is stopped. If they continue happening, then you will find that even the quality of teaching and the quality of research that we are doing at the universities can actually be affected,” said Prof Mwaura.
Last week, Prof Magoha said he had asked the Commission for University Education (CUE) to establish whether some the postgraduate degrees awarded by universities actually meet set standards.
He said that he had personally come across PhD graduates who could not explain issues related to their purported areas of study, suggesting some commissioned their research to third parties.
Prof Macharia said all was not well in university education due to the awarding for fake postgraduate degrees by some universities, adding that some of the lecturers are unqualified thereby compromising the quality of education that being offered.
Further, he said the government needs to come up with initiatives that promote university education, saying currently the quality is not good due to low budget allocations.