“Useless” varsity courses being taken by thousands of students

Life as a Kenyan youth is about to take a turn for the worst as it is now said that thousands of students are wasting time and money studying useless degree programs in various Kenyan universities.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) has rejected 133 courses with a cumulative enrollment capacity of 10,000 slots.CUE is supposed to approve all the academic programs taught in local universities.Of concern is that there are students already studying these programs who might now be forced to discontinue their studies due to mistakes that are not of their own making.

For those who might have finished studying these “useless” programs,  it means their academic papers won’t be recognized by prospective employers and therefore end up jobless.

Vice Chancellors (VC) who spoke to The Standard accused CUE of being insensitive as most of the programs are already being taught. They protested that the drastic action will set students against the universities.

“These programmes have students studying in higher classes. Why is CUE trying to set up universities against students? This is unacceptable. There are better ways of engaging universities,” said a VC whose programs have been affected.

CUE Chief Executive Officer Mwenda Ntarangwi sought to address the panic that has gripped the institutions, saying the commission is still engaging the universities whose programmes were rejected. “This is still an ongoing process and we are in consultation with universities,” said Prof Ntarangwi.

Commission for University CEO Mwenda Ntarangwi.

The shock findings emerged after the CUE audited universities last year in readiness for the 2019 placement.The audit also exposed how universities, in their haste to mint cash from huge enrollment, misrepresented their capacity, both in resources and teaching staff.

The report shows that all the public and private universities declared available capacity of 163,925 for the various courses but after a rigorous assessment on their capacities, only 134,075 were approved.

MPs have called an urgent meeting this Friday to discuss the status of higher education, including the challenges of unaccredited programs.

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