Vice-chancellors want Parliament to bar professional agencies from charging fees to approve courses taught in universities.
Instead, the university heads propose that the professional agencies certify students once they have completed their studies.
The agencies include Council for Legal Education (CLE), Clinical Officers Council (COC), the Board of Registration of Architects & Quantity Surveyors and the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK).
The CLE charges Sh1.6 million to accredit law programmes, the architects board charges Sh1.2 million to approve courses, the COC asks for Sh420,000 and the engineers board charges Sh1 million.
The VCs’ concern comes after disclosure that universities have to pay up to 30 regulatory agencies to have their courses approved. This strains the institutions financially.
The professional agencies are required by law to make sure the universities meet required standards before rollout of programmes.
Duplication of roles
This is similar to the role mandated to the Commission for University Education. The VCs says it is duplication of roles.
CUE requires universities to pay Sh320,000 for each programme approved. The commission further charges Sh1,000 for quality assurance of students and Sh900,000 for quality audit of universities.
The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) charges Sh1,500 for each student placed in an institution.
Vice-Chancellors Committee chairman Francis Aduol said the fees charged has led to the duplication of training, mainly humanity programmes.
“The enrolment of science, technology and engineering courses is far below the expected. For example, construction is a fast-growing industry and yet there is inadequate manpower due to low enrolment in this programmes,” Aduol told the Star yesterday.
He said it is hard for universities to align their core agenda or research and training to the national agenda.
University of Embu Vice-Chancellor Daniel Mugendi on Friday said the most affected are science courses.
“Regulatory bodies like the Commission for University Education should be adequately funded by the exchequer so they can stop levying any charges to universities while professional agencies should wait and impose examination to the graduates,” Mugendi told the Parliamentary Committee on Education.
Through the Vice-Chancellors Committee, the dons want university senates to be left with the role of deciding the courses in the institutions without the interference of the regulators.
In the past, university senates were mandated with overseeing courses introduced in universities and their delivery.