Universities may soon deviate from offering certificates or diploma courses if a new bill proposed by Embakasi Central Member of Parliament Benjamin Mwangi alias Mejjadonk passes.
The Universities (Amendment) Bill 2023 proposes the scrapping of diplomas and certificates in universities.
Mwangi further wants the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) barred from placing students in university to undertake diploma or certificate courses.
Meanwhile, Mwangi who is allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) explained that the bill will ensure universities exclusively offer degree and postgraduate courses.
Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Mwangi addressing a crowd
“Universities are intended to be institutions of higher learning and academic research. In this regard, they should focus on degree and postgraduate programs as opposed to certificate and diploma courses,” he stated.
He further argued that certificates and diploma courses should be limited to technical and vocational colleges to increase enrollment in these institutions.
Additionally, the MP noted that vocational and technical colleges usually record low intake despite heavy government funding.
Mwangi also explained that it was necessary to remove these courses from universities since there are two bodies certifying certificate and diploma courses. These are the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority for technical and vocational colleges and the Commission for University Education (CUE) for universities.
He noted the confusion and inconsistencies in the content and duration of the courses.
If approved, CUE will have the function to recognise and equate postgraduate certificates and postgraduate diplomas conferred by foreign universities and institutions as opposed to basic certificates and diplomas.
“The bill proposes to provide that the Commission may make regulations providing for the procedure of equating postgraduate and diploma courses offered by private universities,’ the MP stated.
Per the new bill, Chancellors of any university will only award postgraduate certificates and postgraduate diploma courses and not the basic certificate and diploma courses.
However, if approved students already undertaking the said courses will be allowed to complete their studies.
University of Nairobi students at a graduation ceremony in December 2019.