The management of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) maintains that its 118 PhDs awarded to graduates in June 2019 are genuine, and that reports by a section of Kenyan media claiming the Commission for University Education suspended the now-controversial degrees are “unfounded”.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, says “all the degrees of the University were meritoriously earned”.
“No student is allowed to graduate without going through due process regarding coursework, seminars, original research, external examination and publications,” said Prof. Ngumi in a press statement released on Wednesday evening, July 31.
“The University has taken note, with great concern, some of the biased and unfounded misinformation to the public in certain media platforms without giving proper context to the report submitted by the CUE to the Ministry. None of our awarded doctorate degrees have been suspended,” said Prof. Ngumi.
On Tuesday, July 30, CUE directed JKUAT 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 requirements are fulfilled.
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.
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 PhD students.
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.