The Commission for University Education (CUE) will take stern action against Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) if investigations prove the institution flouted guidelines in the awarding of PhDs to 118 students.
In what shows widespread disregard for set standards at the institution it has now emerged that a lecturer supervised 16 doctorate students contrary to the CUE requirement of one lecturer per three students.
Three other lecturers supervised 14, 10 and six candidates each.
CUE chief executive officer Prof Mwenda Ntarangw told People Daily that investigations are underway and appropriate action will be taken.
“We are in the process of establishing the details and will take appropriate action once this is done,” he said.
There are also concerns on whether the 660 master’s students who graduated from Jkuat last week were also properly supervised.
The claims, if substantiated, will be a gross indictment on the quality of masters and doctorate degrees awarded local institutions of higher learning.
Now, CUE is expected to probe the defence procedures for degrees, their supervision and other prerequisites that guarantee quality in academic credentials offered at the university.
But Jkuat acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof Robert Kinyua defended the degrees as enviable achievements, regretting opinions questioning their integrity.
Terming the opinions as unfortunate misinformation of the public, Kinyua said Jkuat observes stringent quality measures in mounting its academic and research programmes at all levels including those set by CUE.
Data shows that Kenya has some 10,000 PhD holders with about 400 applicants graduating annually, against a national target of 900.