Tanzania blocks Kenyatta University, JKUAT from enrolling students

The Tanzania Commission for Universities office in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN
The Tanzania Commission for Universities office in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN 

Two Kenyan universities have been blocked from admitting new students in neighbouring Tanzania by its higher education agency for failing to meet minimum standards.

In a circular posted on its website, the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) listed Kenyatta University (KU) and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) among 17 others after a probe commissioned last year found that quality offered at the institutions fell short.

Both JKUAT and KU's Tanzania campuses are located in Arusha.

The directive, however, covers admission of students this September and will not affect continuing learners already enrolled at the Kenya-based universities.

University unaware

The acting administration officer at JKUAT in Arusha, Mr Elias Kizota, said the university was unaware of the announcement, adding that its senior officials have engaged TCU in dialogue to resolve the issue.

"As I’m speaking, my bosses are meeting TCU officers in Dar es Salaam on similar issues. We are surprised by the commission’s decision to release this list," he said in response to queries made by The Citizen.

"Hopefully, the university will have something to comment after the management have concluded discussing with TCU," he added.

Under fire

The two universities have previously come under fire from Kenyan MPs for sinking millions of shillings to open campuses in Rwanda and Tanzania.

Parliament's Public Investment Committee (PIC) launched a probe last year into how the public universities set up campuses in the two countries without approval from the Commission of University Education.

JKUAT revealed that it had spent Sh10 million to set up its Arusha campus and Sh21 million in Kigali.

Kenyatta University on the other hand had spent Sh370 million on its Rwanda centre and Sh53 million in Arusha.

According to the statement by TCU's acting executive secretary, Eliuther Mwangeni, Tanzania carried out the universities' inspection between September and October 2016.