University Commission writes warning letter to Vice Chancellors

Universities risk having courses withdrawn.

Students during a past graduation ceremony

The Commission for University Education (CUE) has threatened to withdraw courses from schools found to be illegally engaging professional bodies in the accreditation of university courses.

Citing the Court of Appeal ruling of June 2020, CUE Chief Executive Officer Mwenda Ntarangwi said that the mandate of approving and accrediting university courses lies exclusively with the commission.

In a letter to all vice-chancellors, he said it has come to the knowledge of the commission that professional bodies continue to purport to accredit and approve academic programs in universities.

On a sad note, however, and despite the court judgment, some professional bodies continue to engage universities with little regard, if any, to the commission,” the letter by CUE read.

In this regard, Ntarangwi warned that any university found engaging with professional bodies for the accreditation of courses without roping in the commission would have the application denied.

Further, universities that are already offering courses approved by professional bodies and not the CUE will have the programs withdrawn.

The commission has also reached out to professional bodies that want to be involved in the accreditation and approval of university courses to work with the CUE.

This was informed by the realization by the commission and the respective professional bodies that there is a need to work together towards achieving their respective statutory requirements on training and accreditation of academic programs.

“The commission is pleased to inform universities that following this call, the commission has been working with some professional bodies, with a view of forging a common approach to accreditation and licensing of university education (including accreditation/approval of academic programs) in universities,” the letter to VCs reads.

Role of Professional bodies

There are 27 Professional bodies and Associations that operate in the country and regulate the training and conduct of their members.

Some have a legal mandate (established under Kenyan law), while others are loose associations representing members of the profession.

According to the Kenya National Qualifications Framework Act, if a professional body or a professional association wishes to be involved in education and training leading to an award of qualifications in the country, it needs to co-operate with the relevant External Quality Assurance agencies (ETQA) such as CUE (for University sector), TVETA (for TVET) and ESQAC (for basic education).

Below is the list of professional bodies and/or Associations in Kenya

  1. Architectural Association of Kenya;
  2. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;
  3. Association of Private Universities in Kenya;
  4. Association of Professional Societies of East Africa;
  5. Association of Public Universities in Kenya;
  6. Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors, Kenya;
  7. Chartered Institute of Arbitrators;
  8. Chartered Institute of Management;
  9. Clinical Officers Council;
  10. Council for Legal Education;
  11. Engineers Board of Kenya;
  12. Institute of Certified Public Accountants;
  13. Institute of Certified Public Secretaries;
  14. Institute of Human Resource Management;
  15. Institution of Surveyors of Kenya;
  16. Kenya Association of Technical Training Institutes;
  17. Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists;
  18. Kenya National Association of Agricultural Professionals;
  19. Kenya National Association of Private Colleges;
  20. Kenya Nutritionists and Dieticians Institute;
  21. Kenya Engineering Technology Registration Board;
  22. Kenya Veterinary Board;
  23. Media Council of Kenya;
  24. Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board;
  25. Nursing Council of Kenya;
  26. Pharmacy and Poisons Board;
  27. The Marketing Society of Kenya

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