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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

PRESBYTERIAN STUDENTS TO MISS GRADUATION



Some 427 students from Presbyterian University of East Africa who studied unaccredited degree programmes will be locked out of this month's graduation. The Standard has learnt that an attempt by the church-sponsored institution to have the students graduate with degrees different from those they studied for backfired two weeks ago after the move was rejected by university senate and the Commission for University Education (CUE). However, the institution's senate has approved the graduation of 200 students, who had taken courses with similarities to those that have accreditation. The lucky students are those who pursued Bachelor of Business Information Technology and Bachelor of Education in Special Needs, who will now graduate with a degree in Business Administration and a basic degree in education. "We have a credit transfer programme which allows us to audit the courses they had done. This is what we used to allow these students to graduate because they have more than 50 per cent of the required units," the university's Vice Chancellor, Prof Peter Kibas, who was recruited in May told The Standard. He added: "I took over an institution that was already offering these courses that had not been accredited. But my main job has been to fasttrack this process which is at an advanced stage." See also: We are coming for you, bogus universities warned The Thogoto-based institution, which has been offering at least nine programmes illegally, had plotted to have all students in the unaccredited programmes "housed" under other legitimate courses ahead of the graduation at the end of this month. The plan would have seen students receive degree certificates for courses they never studied as part of a strategy by the new administration to solve the accreditation scandal that it inherited from its predecessors. Under the arrangement, a student who studied Bachelor of Arts in Journalism would have graduated with a degree in "Bachelor of Business Administration specialising in Communication". Similarly, a student who studied occupational therapy, a health programme, would have graduated with a "degree in theology", an Arts programme accredited by CUE. The university had already communicated the new decision to some of the affected students, who quickly paid the Sh7,500 graduation fees in readiness for the big day. But things have now taken a different turn after CUE rejected the idea. "I would like to inform you (students) that after consultations with CUE and the Senate, it was deemed necessary that graduation for unapproved programmes not to be held so that degrees will not be questioned in the marketplace," an text message from the university's head of Hotel and Tourism department to the affected students read in part. Those locked out of graduation on November 29 include over 200 students who completed Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology, Bachelor of Arts Sociology, Bachelor of Science in Occupational therapy and Bachelor of Arts in Criminology.