The main reason why universities were developed is to train for critical thinking and problem solving through research. When they divert their attention they abandon their primary goal and objective.
The Ministry of Education has suggested that universities should stop enrolling in diploma and certificate courses but rather focus only on degree courses and research.
The Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha on Monday 19th July 2021, proposed that diploma and certificate courses should be reserved for mid-level colleges.
Magoha’s proposal suggests that universities have been illegally enrolling in these courses since they are not approved by relevant institutions.
According to the University Act, the Commission for the University of Education is resp[onsible for approving courses in the higher institutions of learning while CUE has the mandate of approving degree courses at Bachelor’s, Masters, and Doctorate levels.
Diploma and Certificate courses however need accreditation by a recognized Technical and Vocational Training Authority.
In 2018, the Kenya National Qualifications Authority warned that the diploma and certificate courses offered by the universities at that time were not recognized.
The KNQA Director-General Juma Mukhamwa stated that the universities were offering diploma and certificate courses that were not registered under the Kenya National Qualifications Framework.
“Most of the universities have been offering diplomas and certificates without bothering to accredit them through TVETA or CUE,’ he said.
The proposal by prof George Magoha was supported by the University and Academic Staff Union which will be a good move, especially now that the institutions in the country have diverted out of their original mandate in a quest to address their financial issues.
According to USAU Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga, the main reason why universities were developed is to train for critical thinking and problem solving through research. When they divert their attention they abandon their primary goal and objective.
Wasonga believes that dropping the diploma and certificate courses will enable the institutions to specialize and have areas of focus.
Over the last couple of years, universities have been registering a huge number of diploma and certificate students, majorly those who do not qualify for university placement to pursue a degree.
On some occasions, some students just prefer to start from the beginning as they climb the ladder and this say is because they will be able to gain more knowledge and skills as compared to those who directly qualify for degree courses.
several universities in the country have been offering these programs for the longest time possible thus creating employment opportunities for many Kenyans who teach these diploma and certificate courses. This new development might be a blow to them especially with the now rising rate of unemployment in the country.
Nevertheless, the Education Ministry has appealed for a crucial stakeholders engagement on the concern to avoid disadvantages that might come with the new development to the students.