The Accredition Problem


The fact that our universities are assuming accreditation procedures is not a secret any more.

Recently, press reports insinuated that a public university had been offering an illegal degree programme and had to recall its graduates to retake a course after getting approvals from concerned authorities.

Another university college was denied accreditation status by National Council for Legal Education, a body that approves law curriculum in universities, after admitting the students to pursue the course.

Last year, the Engineering Registration Board had also rejected some engineering degrees offered by some public universities after the ‘graduates’ of the unaccredited courses had joined the labour market.

The board cited substandard curricula and even threatened to deny graduates from the affected institutions a practicing license.

Instead of addressing concerns raised by ERB and restoring the faith of stakeholders on this quality hiccup, some universities started playing politics by accusing the board of having a hidden agenda.

Interestingly, the universities had the audacity to advertise these ‘illegal’ courses, enroll students, fleece them and award them ‘degrees’. Ironically, the institutions are headed by scholars who earned their degrees from reputable institutions in the land.

How can our institutions stoop so low to the level of becoming degree mills in disregard to quality accreditation procedures? How could they mount programmes first before accreditation? Or what comes first?

Accreditation process

We need to protect the integrity and the quality of our higher education system. We must act on rich quacks out to mount programmes, rake in millions for a year or two then apply for accreditation status. Is it because there is no effective oversight authority to partner with professional bodies in enforcing a accreditation before courses are advertised in the media?

The quality of higher education in any nation is a crude measure of the health and State of its economy. This is because of the cardinal role higher education plays in research and training of skilled personnel for the private and public sectors of the economy.

{Okoth Jawuor, Nairobi}
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