Reprieve For Egerton University Graduates Who Studied Unaccredited Engineering Course
Following Parliament’s intervention, more than 200 Egerton University graduates who studied an unaccredited engineering degree course will be offered eight remedial courses at no extra cost in order to qualify to practice.
Students who have been unemployed because they have not been registered by the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) will begin taking additional courses in September in order to qualify for registration.
Graduates of the university’s Bachelor of Science in water and environmental engineering, which was introduced in 2014, are affected.
The Commission on University Education has not accredited the course (CUE).
The National Assembly’s Research and Education Committee recommended that the university begin remedial courses in two months.
“The schedule of offering the remedial courses should start in September 2022 and conclude latest by December 2024 through a planned schedule,” reads the report by the committee chaired by Busia MP Florence Mutua.
The committee discovered that Egerton University did not obtain the necessary approval from CUE before introducing the course, and that it lacked training equipment when it launched the course in 2014.
To save time, the university has scheduled three special semesters for students to complete the eight courses.
The university also failed to seek advice from the EBK to ensure that the course met the board’s standards.
As a result, graduates of the program were unable to register as engineers and thus missed out on job opportunities.
“Further, it is a waste of resources for parents and students thus negatively affects the economy,” the report reads.
Following the completion of the remedial courses, students will be eligible to graduate with a BSc in civil and environmental engineering.
The findings follow a petition to Parliament by a group of dissatisfied university students – Mr David Olumasai, Mr Ian Gicobi, and Mr Elvin Mang’eni – who graduated in 2019 and want to be able to study and obtain an accredited degree.
Alternatively, they requested that the university pay them Sh750,000 each in order for them to transfer to an EBK-accredited civil engineering course at another university.
They also demanded that the university stop enrolling students in the program.
According to the Universities Act (2012), before launching a new academic program, a university should invite CUE to inspect and evaluate the institution’s physical, human, library, and financial resources, as well as relevant curriculum content.
The Act also calls for consultation with other relevant agencies that oversee a specific profession.
The process entails an in-depth review and evaluation of a program to ensure compliance with EBK standards.
The board evaluates the program design, curriculum content, faculty staff establishment, training facilities and infrastructure at the institution, training duration, and quality assurance.
The MPs also discovered that the university offers other programs that were not approved by the EBK as of March of this year.
Bachelor of Science degrees are available in electrical and control engineering, civil and structural engineering, mechanical engineering and technology, and mechanical and manufacturing.
As a result, graduates from such courses cannot be accredited by EBK to practice engineering according to the MPs.
“CUE should undertake regular inspections, monitoring, and evaluation of universities and ensure compliance with the provisions of the Universities Act and regulations relating to approval and accreditation of academic programmes,” recommended the legislators.
They also directed the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service to investigate the approval and accreditation status of institutions seeking to place government-sponsored students.
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“It must be approved by CUE and the respective professional regulatory body.”
During the committee’s hearing of submissions in March, it was revealed that approximately 25 engineering courses at various universities are not recognized by the EBK.