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Economy

JKUAT’s 118 PhD degree awards to be investigated

Chacha Nyaigoti
Commission for University Education chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Commission for University Education (CUE) Tuesday announced that it will investigate the 118 doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees awarded to graduates Friday last week following public outcry.

This is after it emerged that one Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) professor had supervised more than 10 PhD students in the School of Entrepreneurship, Procurement and Management against CUE requirement of three students per lecturer.

Some of the publications or refereed journals where the graduates published their works have also been put to question.

A refereed journal contains scholarly articles that have been reviewed for their quality by recognised academics or experts in the field.

The CUE will be looking at the procedures the graduates used to defend their research works before JKUAT lecturers, supervision of the course among others as the regulator moves to maintain the credibility of doctorate and Master’s degree courses awarded by universities in Kenya.

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The Commission chairman Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha Tuesday said they will look into all aspects that led into the award of the PhDs even as the university came out fighting to protect its integrity. Prof Chacha said the Commission would not tolerate any shortcuts.

“We are on the ground to look at these doctorate and we will take necessary action of we find that the law was not followed,” said the commission chairman.

The CUE requires that all Masters students publish at least a paper in refereed journal while PhD counterparts are expected to release two before they graduate.

Kenyans questioned why the JKUAT produced many PhDs in business related studies yet few in innovation and technology where it's niche is in its 33th graduation ceremony.

JKUAT has defended the award of the degrees.

“All degrees of the university are meritoriously earned and no student is allowed to graduate without going through the due process,” said Prof Robert Kinyua, the acting deputy vice-chancellor (academic affairs).

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