East African students will be able to transfer to any university in the region following the approval of a framework to guide the process.
“The heads of state declared the EAC a common higher education area in order to harmonise and enhance quality,” a communique from the Inter-University Council for East Africa, Dar es Salaam, said.
Kenya National Qualifications Framework chairman Bonventure Kere welcomed the development, saying it would ensure those with fake certificates were prosecuted.
“Graduates from our system can go and work anywhere in the region,” Prof Kere, who is leading the development of a local blueprint, said.
It is expected to be ready by December, ahead of its implementation in January 2018.
Inter-University Council for East Africa executive secretary Alexandre Lyambabaje said the plan would provide students with a chance to join universities of their choice.
“It will also provide them with opportunities for training, research and community engagement in any university,” Prof Lyambabaje added.
Every partner state would retain its national plan, which must be based on the regional framework.
Universities would also have a harmonised system of assessing and awarding credits and naming degrees.
Academic certificates would have an EAC qualification seal and the names of holders must be registered in the regional qualification register for them to qualify for recognition in all the partner states, according to the framework.