University’s engineering degrees finally approved

Monday, April 27th, 2020 00:00 |
University of Eldret’s main administration block. TOP RIGHT: Vice Chancellor Prof Teresa Akenga. BELOW: The then EBK chairman Maina Wanjau (left) tests equipment at the institution’s Engineering faculty during an inspection tour in 2018. Photo/PD/WINSTONE CHISEREMI

The programmes at the University of Eldoret have now met all the minimum EBK requirements with respect to curriculum, staff and critical laboratory equipment.

Winstone Chiseremi @Wchiseremi 

A five-year crisis in which students who had enrolled for Engineering degree programmes at the University of Eldoret (UOE) were skipping lectures to protest lack of accreditation of their courses will now be a thing of the past.

It is now a sigh of relief for students after the Engineering Board of Kenya (EBK) accredited engineering courses at the Uasin Gishu county-based institution of higher learning after a six-year hiatus.

In a statement, the institution’s administration says EBK has approved the accreditation of Bachelors degrees in Mechanical and Production Engineering as well as Bachelors degrees in Civil and Structural Engineering.

EBK in March 2018 approved the accreditation of the Bachelors of Engineering Agricultural and Bio-systems engineering.  

“Following the visit by the Engineering Board of Kenya (EBK) experts on 30th January 2020, the university engineering programmes met all the minimum requirements with respect to curriculum, staff and critical laboratory equipment,” the University of Eldoret administration says in a statement. 

During a capacity building and accreditation re-visit to the varsity, EBK members led by the chairman engineer Erastus Mwongera toured various engineering workshops and departments.

They also interacted with the school of engineering professors, lecturers, lab technicians and students. 

The status of the accreditation of the engineering courses ruffled feathers at the university, with the institution’s Vice Chancellor Prof Teresa Akenga saying the process of accreditation can take several years.

The university’s top management was at times forced to close down the Engineering department and send home the 500 learners to avoid destruction of property by rampaging students.

Students would stage violent protests disrupting learning programmes, accusing the administration for taking too long to follow up on the accreditation of their degree engineering programme by the professional body charged with offering practicing certificates. 

Joining  students have been accusing the university management for not telling them about the status of their degree courses regarding accreditation before they joined the institution four years ago.

“We were never told about the lack of EBK accreditation when we joined this university four years ago,” said one the students who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.

The scores of learners shortlisted by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) for the Engineering slots about four years ago have been demanding that EBK first approve the course.

The move by the students was informed by the prospect of not having their qualifications recognised after the EBK reduced the number of accredited institutions to nine. 

EBK officials have in the past decried a trend where some colleges are purporting to offer degree courses without following ERB accreditation  procedures.

“For instance, how does a college offering a six-year engineering degree course suddenly say the curriculum has been reduced to a four-year course?” posed an engineer who declined to be quoted.    

Akenga said the school has now successfully gone through five important stages of accreditation.

These are programme design and curriculum content development, upgrade of training infrastructure, faculty establishment, and upgrade of library resources, holding of the school’s first graduation. All that had remained was the accreditation visit by the EBK team.

Earlier, UOE had been slotted in list of public universities that was released by EBK as not recognised as training school for engineers.

This was after the university administration announced it was awaiting three of its courses to be accredited prompting EBK to visit the institution.

According to the Dean, School of Engineering Dr Julius Kollongei, the school is prepared to meet challenges of increasing student population in line with the government’s vision 2030 strategy.

Founded in June 2011, the college offers both undergraduate and post-graduate studies. 

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