Standoff looms over degree courses deals - Daily Nation
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Standoff looms over degree courses deals

Thursday March 26 2015

Commission for University Education Chief

Commission for University Education Chief Executive David Some. A crisis is looming in institutions of higher learning as colleges collaborating with universities in offering degree courses continue to admit students in spite of the June deadline FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Samwel Born Maina
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A crisis is looming in institutions of higher learning as colleges collaborating with universities in offering degree courses continue to admit students in spite of the June deadline issued by the government for them to stop.

Commission of University Education CEO David Some said “there is no turning back”, and warned institutions that are still admitting students that they risk being closed down if fail to comply.

According to Prof Some, parents seeking to have their children acquire a degree should register them with accredited universities and not colleges “riding on universities’ names”.

With the influx of students seeking to register with universities, collaboration has been an alternative for universities seeking to admit more students.

The commission’s decision means that thousands of students studying for degree courses in colleges will be stopped from continuing with studies at the end of June.

“Universities will no longer admit degree students to colleges they are collaborating with,” Prof Some told Nation.

It has also emerged that universities offering diploma and certificate courses do not have any agency monitoring them, after the commission said it was only concerned with degree courses.

However, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), the agency in charge of accrediting middle level colleges, said it would seek legal advice on the matter.

STOP OFFEERING DIPLOMAS

Universities were expected to stop offering diploma and certificate courses at the end of June but Parliament came to their rescue by passing a law that allows them to continue offering the courses.

According to the Miscellaneous Amendment to the Universities Act, only chartered universities will continue offering diplomas, including post-graduate diplomas and other academic certificates, besides the regular degree courses.

Parliament’s decision to allow universities to offer diplomas has been met with opposition from TVETA, which argues it is only technical institutions that are mandated to offer diplomas and certificates.
The matter was taken to court after TVETA said its powers had been watered down by the amendment.

“Universities are supposed to deal with academics but the technical bit is a preserve of technical institutions which we supervise,” said TVETA’s acting CEO, Ms Emily Maina.

“This is a contentious issue. The previous discussion we had is that by the end of June, universities were supposed to stop awarding diplomas,” she said.