Four Universities Face Law Degree Closures Due To Malpractice
No matter how much one stays loyal to the oath and practices their profession legally, we cannot deny that the world of Law is sometimes flawed. Ranging from the fraternities you join in order to gain connections, you also need to handle controversial cases which may test your principles and stances in life. There is no doubt that the road to becoming a full-fledged lawyer is rocky and sturdy, often of the brink of malpractices. For the African students aspiring to become lawyers, these issues may have to be faced even earlier, as the Education ministry is not willing to renew the accreditation licenses for four African universities.
The Education of Ministry and Council on Higher Education Threatens to Cancel the Accreditation License.
Four prestigious African universities may lose their law degree after the Council of Higher Education ministry found serious lapses and “weakness” in their LLB programmes. Although they are quick to reassure the students currently enrolled and registered for LLB that they’ll be able to retain their education until they graduated.
However, if the North-West University, Unisa, the University of the Free State and Walter Sisulu University still fail to rectify their issues within the two-year period, then they will have to eventually close their law programs. This warning was issued after the chief executive of Commission for University Education (CUE) David Some released an official statement regarding the issue.
“The institutions stand accused of academic malpractices. We did our audit and submitted the reports and it is upon the CS to decide. We have made our case,” Prof. Some told the Nation.
The CUE Audit Report Breakdown
The said audit report was released last weekend and they discovered specific lapses committed by these universities. Some of them were the awarding of degrees to students without undergoing the proper laid-down procedures, enrolling students who weren’t qualified or passed the law aptitude test, and offering courses to the students not approved by the said commission. These lapses committed make these four universities (stated above) candidates for the eventual shutdown. The council has withheld their application of interim authority for renewal of license.
Before the warning was issued, the council had already shut down universities from Inoorero, Obama, Kenco and Landmark due to malpractices too.
The audit also revealed that some students enrolled for degree courses got a D+ grade in Kenya, however, they were able to take and pass the Certificate of Secondary Education examination, with others graduating from the course even without getting their superior’s approval first. This is a serious violation since the passing grade in Kenya is C+. Aside from that, these universities also committed abuses of their accelerated programs. There were cases reported where it only took nine months up to 1 year for the students to complete their bachelor’s degree.
Publishing Academic Research Papers
The Ministry of Education takes publishing of research papers very seriously since these research developments can contribute not only to enhancing the educational system of the country but also to the nation’s growth and progress. If more people are educated and gained a strong foundation of learning, they will become the nation’s asset to strengthen their workforce and increase their economy. That’s why as much as possible, the education council is heavily invested in equipping the libraries and research facilities of each university.
However, the audit revealed that around 70 and more universities are not utilizing their resources. The report revealed that they’re only investing around 10% of their resources to equip their libraries. It also shows how the research development is almost non-existent in these universities.
“Out of the 66 universities that provided information on research fund allocation, only 19 complied with the law,” the report said.
The Council on Higher education was alarmed with this discovery since they require the universities to use at least 2% of their operational expenditure to invest in research development. The doctoral program also requires the students to publish at least two academic reports before graduating, and they’ll be having a difficulty completing their research paper if they don’t have enough resources.
After the audit, CUE chairman Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha formulated a team who’ll be regulating the standards and make amendments to the Universities Act. The team would also monitor the implementation of the ongoing audit report. The team will comprise of chancellors, vice-chancellors and university council chairpersons.
“Stakeholders will work on the regulations within six months,” he said.
Furthermore, he required the universities to provide a roadmap and formulate corrective measures to fix their lapses within 30 days. Failure to comply would result in not renewing their license and we’d have a massive issue on our hands.
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