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Professional Bodies to Lose Accreditation Power Over University Programs

Professional Bodies to Lose Accreditation Power Over University Programs

The Presidential Working Group on Education Reforms proposes stripping professional bodies in Kenya of the authority to accredit university degree programs.

The proposed reforms will repeal the statutes granting professional bodies the authority to accredit university courses within their profession, and the Commission for University Education (CUE) will assume this responsibility.

The CUE, and no other professional institution, had the authority to approve, sanction, or revoke university academic programs’ accreditation.

The proposal seeks to amend the Universities Act so that no professional body may charge universities a fee for academic program accreditation.

There are 27 professional organizations and associations in Kenya that regulate their members’ training and conduct. Professional organizations, such as the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) and the Council of Legal Education (CLE), will have no influence over university curriculum.

If adopted, the modification will end a long-running dispute between the CUE and professional associations over the authority to accredit various university courses.

The legal framework permits both CUE and professional bodies to regulate academic programs in Kenya, resulting in overlapping regulatory mandates with multiple entities regulating university academic programs.

A section of the University Act that permits professional organizations to participate in the accreditation of academic programs will be eliminated under the proposed amendments.

Section 5A subsection (3) stipulates that CUE may consult with any relevant body established by written law to regulate a profession to which the academic program pertains.

The proposal also aims to eliminate laws that grant professional organizations accreditation authority over university academic programs.

Universities’ financial issues have been attributed, in part, to the fees they pay for program accreditation.

These fees have been cited as one of the factors contributing to their financial difficulties.

The CUE cautioned vice-chancellors against involving other professional bodies in the approval of university courses without the commission’s prior approval.

Professional Bodies to Lose Accreditation Power Over University Programs

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