Jkuat ordered to only offer PhDs at main campus

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 00:00 |
University graduation.Photo/FILE

The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) has been directed to cease training doctorate students in satellite campuses for lack of capacity and transfer them to the main institution in Juja.

The university is also expected to submit to the Commission for University Education (CUE) evidence of students’ publication of two articles for each PhD awarded since publication of Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014, failure to which non-conforming ones will be recalled until graduation requirement are fulfilled.

Review awards

Consequently, Jkuat’s Senate is expected to meet to review the 118 PhD awarded during the 33rd graduation ceremony held in June, make decisions on some of the issues the commission has raised and report back within three months.

The commission issued the directive in a report on inquiry into PhD degrees for Jkuat awarded during the 31st, 32nd and 33rd graduations.

From the findings of the CUE, it emerged that there was no evidence of meetings between supervisors and supervisees as no record of such meetings was availed.

“There is poor monitoring of students’ progress during PhD training. In many cases the board of examiners that sat to consider the oral presentation had as few as four members yet the university statutes provide for at least six, putting the validity of the verdict into question,” CUE stated.

CUE also found that the three graduations took place within a period of 12 months, while the average duration of supervision was five to six years and which is within normal range. 

It also emerged that most of the students published in journals in which a number of academic staff of College of Human Resource Development (CoHRED) had interests.

Audit panel

The Commission’s Audit Panel carried out the Regular Institutional Quality Audit of Jkuat between July 23 and 27 last year flagged out an issue on supervision of PhDs in CoHRED.

CUE further stated that although Jkuat has an admission procedure clearly stipulated in the University Statutes duly approved by the Council, which the university adheres to, there were instances where students admitted for PhD did not have relevant academic Bachelor’s degree for admission into Master’s programme.

“Though, some students may have graduated with a Master’s degree from a different institution it is incumbent upon the institution admitting the student for PhD to confirm adherence to standards,” read the CUE report.

The report has also shown out of the 118 PhD graduates of the 33rd Graduation, 112 were approved by Senate however, the remaining six were administratively approved for graduation by the Vice Chancellor on behalf of Senate.

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