A crisis is looming in all the 31 public universities following a directive by the Commission for University Education (CUE) that all assistant lecturers must acquire a PhD degree by October for them to qualify to teach.
CUE says those who will not have attained the qualification by then will be relieved of their duties.
The PhD requirement — according to the October 27, 2014, Report on Harmonised Criteria and Guidelines for Appointment and Promotion of Academic Staff -- will also impact private universities.
Besides the PhD requirement, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has sent a policy paper requiring all public universities to negotiate individual salaries payable to the teaching staff.
The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) has challenged the directive in court, saying that its input was not sought before implementation.
Lawyer Titus Koceyo, for Uasu, said CUE breached the constitutional requirement for public participation before implementation of any policy that has far reaching effects, adding that universities rely heavily on assistant lecturers.