The latest of the actions over failure to comply with standards came late last month, when the Tanzania Commission for Universities barred Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology from admitting students for the upcoming academic year over what it termed as concerns over standards of programs offered.
The two institutions have campuses in the East African country’s resort city of Arusha where they have been offering courses over the past seven years. In response to the Tanzanian government’s directive, Kenya’s Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ordered the universities to close the campuses.
“The ministry is concerned about the existence of the two campuses amidst the need for quality university education”
“I urge the university council to deliberate on the way forward on the existence of the two campuses with a view of winding them up,” he said in letters to the councils of the public universities.
“The ministry is concerned about the existence of the two campuses amidst the need for quality university education, prudent and responsible finance management, in line with the Constitution of Kenya, the Universities Act and the Public Finance Management Act (2012),” he wrote.
Also barred from enrolling new students is the region’s biggest private institution, Kampala International University of Uganda.
All the universities have a combined student population of more than 3,000 learners.
In total, 19 universities operating in Tanzania have been barred from admitting students, including 16 local institutions after TCU’s executive secretary said there was a failure to meet requirements to offer programs, following an audit done in September and October 2016.
The move will not affect current students.
Following the directive, Kenyatta University has publicly stated that it is abiding by the minister’s request and will move with speed to close the campus.
Top management at JKUAT meanwhile visited Tanzania last week in a bid to assess the situation at their campus as well as meet with TCU leadership and is considering what steps to take.
“Consultations on the next course of action to take over the matter are going on at the management level of the university,” Mike Ngonyo, a university spokesman told The PIE News.
Besides the Tanzania campuses, the two Kenyan universities have similar branches in Kigali, Rwanda and both universities have struggled to gain accreditation even after investing a total of US$8.7m to set up the foreign units.
Kampala International University has also had problems getting its degrees recognised in the region, in some instances facing accusations of “selling” certificates.