Kemu faces penalties over claims it offers engineering courses

Kenya Methodist University students stand outside their institution in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
Kenya Methodist University students stand outside their institution in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

The Kenya Methodist University (Kemu) has been forced to withdraw a notice on its website saying it is authorised by the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) to offer engineering courses, a claim that the professional body termed as false.

EBK registrar Nicholas Musuni says the board will prosecute Kemu, given that it is an offence for any institution to falsely claim that it was accredited by the agency as provided for by the Engineers Act (2011).

“It is unethical. We are going to follow up on this and take action,” said Mr Musuni in an interview.

It is an offence to issue any document, statement, certificate or seal falsely implying that an institution is recognised by the board to offer engineering courses, according to the Act of Parliament.

Contravention of the Act could attract a five-year jail term and a fine of Sh5 million.

The Meru-based university’s vice-chancellor Henry Kiriamiti said the notice was erroneously posted on its website.

“KeMU is not offering any engineering courses and the post on our website has been removed. We apologise for this,” said Prof Kiriamiti in response to the Business Daily queries.

The Kemu website posting indicated that the university was accredited by 17 agencies and professional bodies including the Commission for Higher Education and EBK.

EBK said engineering courses offered at universities can only be accredited upon fulfilling five mandatory requirements, including programme design, curriculum, faculty staff, training facilities and infrastructure, and duration of training.

The Kemu action comes amid increased surveillance by professional bodies seeking to regulate the quality of programmes in Kenyan universities.

Egerton University two weeks ago sent home more than 1,000 engineering students after it failed to secure EBK approval to offer programmes in water and environmental engineering, manufacturing engineering and technology as well as instrumentation and control engineering.

Technical University of Kenya last month stopped admissions of fresh learners and the teaching of about 3,000 continuing students in the faculty of engineering sciences and technology after the engineers’ board notified the school that it was not qualified to offer engineering courses.

Moi University is also on the spot after the Council of Legal Education — which regulates the teaching of law courses — ordered the immediate closure of its law school for failing to meet the set quality standards.