The commission for university education on Tuesday called for the suspension and review of all doctorate degrees (PHDs) awarded to students at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology over the period of the past five years.
Terming as failure to meet the standards under the university act, the university has further been directed by C.U.E to stop all the PHD programs in all its satellite campuses. C.U.E stated that the degrees awarded in the last graduations since 2014 were not correctly earned, this comes after the university awarded a total of 327 PHD degrees and 2101 Master degrees in the last two graduations of June 2018, November 2018 and June 2019.
The audit done by C.U.E indicates that majority of supervisors are based in the main campus putting to question the quality of education in the satellite campuses of the institution adding that the supervisors were carrying a supervision load that is beyond the recommended threshold that is 3 PHD and 5 Masters in any academic year.
According to the audit, one supervisor graduated 41, 30, 33 PHDs and 45, 106, and 72 masters students in the last 3 graduations respectively. Examiners reports are also reported not to have been dully signed bringing about the question of their legitimacy.
JKUAT became a subject of discussion after its last graduation in June which saw 118 PHDs awarded to students, this became the highest number Of PHDs ever awarded sparking an online debate on whether they were authentic or not.
The JKUAT saga comes a month after the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha called for the merging and closing of some universities and scrapping off of some of the courses offered in these higher learning institutions. This was based on the argument that some universities were offering courses that were irrelevant, making the quality of education questionable. This move was however not received well by university workers, who opposed the move under the umbrella of Kenya Union of domestic Hotels, education institution and allied workers (KUDHEIA) terming it unnecessary and not conforming with the constitution.
JKUAT was directed by C.U.E to cease training of PHD students in its satellite campuses due to lack of adequate academic staff, the university senate has also been directed to evaluate the recently awarded 118 PHDs and also other issues raised in the report within 3 months which they will then submit the report to C.U.E,
The direction indicates that if the senate fails to do this, non conforming PHDs shall be recalled until they meet the graduation requirement.