The higher education regulator has stopped Nairobi-based Inoorero University from admitting new students after the watchdog found the institution lacked adequate infrastructure to offer degrees following the sale of its premises to Mount Kenya University.
The Commission for University Education (CUE) says it reached the decision after Inoorero, now known as International University of Professional Studies (IUPS), failed to show that it has the required infrastructure to offer degrees.
The commission says it offered IUPS a permit to operate as a university partly on grounds that it had premises that are suitable for a university – the eight-storey tower.
Mount Kenya University (MKU) bought the 0.09 hectare parcel of land in Nairobi’s Parklands area for Sh380 million where it now host its law school.
“The decision to stop Inoorero University from admitting new students was reached and communicated to the institution on December. It failed to prove that it had the required infrastructure,” David Some, CUE secretary, told the Business Daily in an interview.
“Inoorero University is only on a teach out period on the said premises to allow only 263 students who were on a degree programme to complete their studies,” he said.
Diploma and certificate students have been transferred to other institutions of higher learning, dealing a blow to the institution that had ambitions of being among the premier private universities in Kenya.
A spot check by the Business Daily found that MKU has already taken over the building while IUPS students have occupied a section of the fourth floor in the eight-storey tower.
MKU had given proprietors of IUPS, who include Francis Nyammo, the former Tetu MP, till December to vacate.
On July 28, a creditor put the eight-storey campus building up for auction after IUPS failed to service a multi-million shilling loan taken from a bank about five years ago.
This prompted MKU to place a Sh280 million bid against a price of Sh380 million set by Mr Nyammo, who is a top shareholder at listed book publisher Longhorn and was associated with Kenya Finance Bank that collapsed in the early 1990s.
IUPS in September 2009 secured a long-term debt of Sh320 million from a local development finance institution and raised Sh180 million from individual and corporate investors, but it is not clear what portion of the debt it had cleared.
Insiders said the university has over the years operated a huge overdraft, leading to its present financial predicament.