Education CS Fred Matiang’i is planning to shake things up in Kenya’s higher institutions by first de-registering any university found to have sold degrees to politicians.
He said the government shakedown will extend to private universities.
“I am happy now that councils have began to bite and strip people of their degrees. We would like to see more universities do that together with CUE and the Education ministry,” he said on Monday during the AMFREF graduation ceremony.
The CS’s statement comes as Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has moved to court to challenge the University of Nairobi’s plan to de-register him.
It also comes as Masinde Muliro University has announced it will not award COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli an Honorary Degree during its 12th graduation ceremony on Friday.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Fred Otieno, confirmed the report saying:
“The award will not go on as planned earlier and I refer you to the university spokesman to give reasons as to why it will not proceed.”
Speculation suggests that the university was under political pressure from the ministry of education to cancel the award.
“There is no politics in this. The postponement is because the process that is supposed to be followed before the award is not complete,” Bob Mbori, the University’s spokesman said, denying the claims.
“I can assure you that the process has just been postponed but not canceled. Once we are through with what is required, it will proceed on the guidance of the relevant authorities.”
Dr. Matiang’i, in his speech, also said the government will target institutions operating contrary to the statutory provisions guiding the higher education sector.
Among those targeted are universities operating on letters of interim authority beyond the statutory period.
This letter is offered to institutions accredited to offer degree courses but which have not met standards for becoming fully-fledged universities.
“We are going to take a serious look into this issue because you cannot hold an interim letter for eight years and more without any substantive explanation as to why you are not able to move to a fully fledged university,” Matiang’i said.