Frequently Asked Questions
The Commission for University Education was established by an Act of Parliament, Universities Act, No. 42 of 2012 as the successor to the Commission for Higher Education which was established under Universities Act Cap 210B of 1985.
The Commission is a specialized government agency whose parent Ministry is the Ministry of Education. It has perpetual succession and the capacity to sue and be sued and to acquire and dispose of property.
Accessible, relevant and sustainable quality university education.
To regulate and assure quality university education through setting standards & guidelines and monitoring compliance to achieve global competitiveness.
To promote the objectives of university education, by regulating and accrediting universities and programmes, among other functions.
The Commission’s operations are underpinned by the following corporate values:
- Accountability and
Members of the governing organ of the Commission are responsible for the overall management of the governance of the organization and are accountable to the stakeholders for ensuring that the Commission complies with the Law and best practice in corporate governance as promulgated by relevant authorities.
The Commission members are appointed in accordance with the Universities Act, 2012 Part II Section 6 (1) and comprise eight (8) persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry for the time being responsible for university education. The Commission Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Commission is an ex-officio member.
The CUE has a full-time Secretariat headed by the Commission Secretary who is also the Chief Executive of the Commission. There are four Divisions each head by a Deputy Commission Secretary. These are:
- Quality Audit and Standards;
- Planning, Research and Development; and
- Administration and Finance
The Secretariat consists of professionally trained staff with experience in various aspects of university education. Staff are recruited on a competitive basis.
The functions of the Commission are stipulated in Section 5 (1) of the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012 as the following:
- Promote the objectives of university education;
- Advise the Cabinet Secretary on policy relating to university education;
- Promote, set standards and assure relevance in the quality of university education;
- Monitor and evaluate the state of university education systems in relation to the national development goals;
- License any student recruitment agencies operating in Kenya and any activities by foreign institutions;
- Develop policy for criteria and requirements for admission to universities;
- Recognize and equate degrees, diplomas and certificates conferred or awarded by foreign universities and institutions in accordance with the standards and guidelines set by the Commission from time to time;
- Undertake or cause to be undertaken, regular inspections, monitoring and evaluation of universities to ensure compliance with set standards and guidelines;
- Collect, disseminate and maintain data on university education;
- Accredit universities in Kenya;
- Regulate university education in Kenya;
- Accredit and inspect university programme in Kenya;
- Promote quality research and innovation; and
- Perform such other functions and exercise such other powers as the Commission may deem necessary for the proper discharge of its mandate under this Act.
The Commission executes its operations through the Secretariat and specialist committees. The Committees examine and determine specific issues and advise the Commission on the course of action to be taken. The Secretariat and the Committees engage the services of resource persons to perform specialized tasks where necessary.
The following are the Committees of the Commission:
- Strategic Resources and General Purpose Committee;
- Audit Risk Committee; and
- Quality Assurance Committee.
Accreditation may be generally defined as a process of quality control and assurance whereby, as a result of inspection or assessment, an institution or its programmes are recognized as meeting minimum acceptable standards.
Forms of Accreditation
Programme Accreditation focuses on study programmes; and Institutional Accreditation which focuses on the overall quality of an institution.
The concept of practices in Accreditation and Quality Assurance are based on two (2) main approaches namely:
- the "Standard-based" approach where quality is measured against pre-defined standards. It focuses on standards and the extent to which they are being met.
- the "Fitness for Purpose" approach which assumes that quality is equal to objectives and goals as established by the institution.
Commission’s Principles of Accreditation
The Commission applies and uses the above concepts and forms of accreditation and quality assurance based on the following principles:
- the Commission recognizes that quality and quality control are primarily the responsibility of higher education institutions themselves but they partner with the Commission for better results;
- the Commission respects the autonomy, identity and integrity of the institutions;
- the Commission applies standards which are in line with international developments and best practices and international benchmarking;
- the Commission aims at contributing towards quality enhancement and accountability;
- the Commission uses peer review and attempts to involve international experts in the external assessment processes.
Key features of accreditation
- It is a continuous process;
- Periodic review is the life-line of accredited institutions and programmes;
- Institutions seeking accreditation must undergo a number of stages as outlined in the Universities Rules, 1989;
- It is compulsory in Kenya;
- Use of peer review/ consultative process in subject/discipline/profession;
- Self-assessment/evaluation by institutions based on an institution’s vision, mission, philosophy and objectives;
- Site visits/ inspections to verify academic resources;
- Action/judgment by the Commission which adapts a developmental and advisory approach to ascertain that the institution achieves the desired standard after which a new institution is granted a Letter of Interim Authority, an existing institution is awarded a Charter and an accredited institution receives a Re-inspection Certificate
The Commission maintains an up to-date list of all institutions that are authorized to offer university level education in Kenya. See: Universities accredited to operate in Kenya.
Each year in March the Commission organizes an Exhibition for all universities authorized to operate in the country where they showcase their programmes and services. Among the key services offered during the Exhibition are:
- Career choice guidance;
- Application university Loans;
- Cluster point requirements for admission to university universities per programme;
- Universities authorized to operate in the country;
- free medical checks;
- Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV.
The Commission will hold the Exhibition in every County to achieve maximum reach. The Exhibition is open to the public and admission is free.
The Commission is committed to maintaining quality in service delivery. There are customer complaints handling procedures which the Commission adheres to them in handling customer grievances.
Any service that does not conform to the expectations of our customers, or any officer who does not live up to commitment to courtesy and excellence in service delivery should be reported to:
The Commission Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer
Address: P.O. Box 54999-00200 Nairobi
Tel: + 254 (020) 7205000
The following are the means through which the Commission can be contacted or information sought:
Physical location: Gigiri on Redhill Rd. off Limuru Rd., 12kms from the Nairobi city centre.
Postal Box Number: 54999-00200 Nairobi
Telephone: +254 (020) 7205000
Facebook page: Commission for University Education Kenya
Twitter handle: @CUE_Kenya