Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology’s top administration has come to the defense of the institution in the wake of increased criticisms about the criteria JKUAT used to award 118 doctoral degrees in last Friday’s graduation ceremony.
JKUAT’s Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of academic affairs, Prof. Robert Kinyua, termed some online posts about the debated-upon degrees as “misleading” and “disparaging”.
In a press statement released Monday, Prof. Kinyua said the university continues to ensure there is high quality control when it comes to rewarding hard work.
“JKUAT takes great exception to the recent misleading and disparaging comments that could risk the careers and future of many young Kenyans who have received their education in the university,” said the DVC, Academic Affairs.
Prof. Kinyua said the institution met Commission for University Education’s requirements when awarding the now-controversial merit documents.
Last weekend a section of Kenyans questioned the criteria JKUAT used to award the degrees, which they believe, should be “as scarce as possible”, given the amount of work required in their pursuit.
US-based lawyer, Prof. Makau Mutua, was among those who asked questions on JKUAT’s academic reward scheme.
“How credible are the 118 PhDs awarded by JKUAT? Either they are fake, or academic standards there are near zero. Let us end this academic fraud,” Prof Makau Mutua said on Twitter.
Flashy Nairobi lawyer Donald Kipkorir said: “JKUAT, as its name says, is University of Agriculture & Technology. But to graduate 118 PhDs when we don’t know from it of any innovation in both fields is a monumental scandal and should be closed. JKUAT should publish the titles of all the PhDs theses and names of the supervisors.”
Last year, JKUAT had 105 of its students graduating with PhDs.
Kenya has about 10, 000 PhD holders, with around 400 graduating with the top honors annually.
The country targets to produce at least 900 new PhD holders each year.