In a review of college programmes, universities may soon be barred from admitting diploma and certificate course students.
Universities, according to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, should concentrate on degree programmes and research.
In a proposal, the Ministry of Education wants diploma and certificate courses to be reserved for mid-level institutions. Mid-level technical colleges will then absorb the large group of students.
The move is expected to be a blow to public and private institutions, which have relied on diploma and certificate courses to generate money since the collapse of Module 2 courses.
Diplomas are sometimes utilised by students who do not meet the requirements for university placement but want to pursue degrees.
Hundreds of lecturers who teach diploma and certificate courses may lose their employment as a result.
According to the suggestion, universities have been breaking the law because the diplomas they issue have not been approved by competent institutions.
The Commission for University Education is authorized to approve programmes to be offered in universities under the University Act.
CUE, on the other hand, is limited to approving bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programmes.
Diplomas and certificates, on the other hand, must be accredited by the Technical and Vocational Training Authority to be recognised.
Universities, on the other hand, are unable to seek clearance from TVETA because the organisation exclusively works with community institutions.
In 2018, the Kenya National Qualifications Authority issued a warning that university diplomas and certificates were not recognised.
According to Juma Mukhwana, director-general of the Kenya National Qualifications Authority, some universities have instituted diploma programmes that are not registered under the Kenya National Qualifications Framework.
This jeopardises university diplomas and certificate programmes because the credentials are not recognised outside of the country.
Most universities have been awarding diplomas and certificates without having to accredit them with TVETA or CUE.
The University and Academic Staff Union has backed the plan, claiming that to handle financial problems, institutions have strayed from their responsibilities.
The decision, according to Uasu Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga, will be an indicator of reforms to align the institutions with their fundamental mandate if adopted.
Through research, universities are supposed to prepare students for critical thinking and problem-solving. This is why institutions have been created. When they focus on training degrees, they lose sight of their primary mission.
Wasonga goes on to say that institutions must specialise and have emphasis areas.
One way to achieve this, he believes, is to eliminate diploma and certificate courses.
He urged critical stakeholder participation in the issue to avoid any student disadvantages as a result of the new development.
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