The Commission for University Education (CUE) on 4th March, 2019 hosted the incoming Director of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Ms. Beate Schindler-Kovats as part of its initiative in spearheading academic linkages, research and partnerships with global institutions.
The visit was also to give the new Director the opportunity to gain an insight into the functions and operations of the Commission as one of the long lasting strategic partners with DAAD in spearheading quality assurance endeavors.
In a meeting hosted by CUE’s top management led by the Deputy Commission in charge of Administration and Finance (A &F) Prof. Walter Oyawa also representing the Commission Secretary, a number of emerging issues in the higher education sector were discussed.
Among the issues discussed were: the impact of rapid expansion of university education on quality, the relevance of university academic programs on national development, the quality of faculty in terms of the number of doctorate holders and the extent of internalization of universities for both student and faculty fraternities.
The Commission Top Management Team: Prof. Grace Njoroge, Deputy Commission Secretary, Accreditation, (2nd left), Prof. Walter Oyawa, Deputy Commission Secretary in charge of Administration and Finance (3rd right), Prof. Anne Nangulu, the Deputy Commission Secretary, Quality Audit and Standards (2nd right) and Prof. Jackson Too, the Head of Research and Development department (left) with the incoming DAAD Director Ms. Beate Schindler-Kovats and the outgoing DAAD Director Dr. Helmut Blumbach during the courtesy call at the Commission Offices on 4th March 2019.
Also noted was the need to address the universities’ request for capacity building in preparing for the new curriculum- Competence Based Curriculum (CBC). Further, partnership with DAAD in strengthening governance and leadership in Universities through training improving infrastructure in local universities, automation for CUE processes and formation of quality-based associations in universities would be highly appreciated.
The meeting also dwelt on future strategic partnerships in the areas of quality assurance in higher education including review of standards & guidelines, University ranking based on multidimensional ranking system and within global benchmarks, support for research and innovation at the universities, and support for human capital development both at the Commission and the universities.
From left: Prof Jackson Too) , Head of Research and Development department, Prof Anne Nangulu, Deputy Commission Secretary in charge of Quality Audit and Standards shares a moment with the outgoing DAAD Director Dr. Helmut Blumbach after the meeting.
The aspect of Diaspora and adjunct faculty participation in the development of higher education in Kenya was also discussed. The meeting pledged to enhance future partnerships and collaboration in the above listed areas.
The Commission will continue to be the focal point on relevant matters pertaining to the development of university education in Kenya.
University graduates should ‘add value’ to their respective fields of study to better the chances of being absorbed into the dynamic job market environment, CUE Chairman advises
The Commission Chairman, Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha has urged university graduates to fully exploit their potential by infusing the knowledge acquired at university with market-oriented skills training, in a bid to increase their chances of absorption into the job market.
Prof. Nyaigotti-Chacha was a guest panelist during a live televised career fair organized by the Nation Media Group at the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi on 26th January 2019.
He called on parents and guardians to play a leading role in guiding their children in career choices both during and after their university studies in order for them to be better positioned for the job market.
The career fair, dubbed getting it right and hosted by the Daily Nation pull-out magazine My Network, brought together diverse providers of higher education who showcased courses and career options available to prospective students, parents/guardians and the general public. It gave university students a valuable opportunity to network with potential employers, explore careers and courses, discover internships and job opportunities. The interactions were enhanced through exhibitions, career talks and talent shows.
“I think it is erroneous for parents and students to assume that certain degrees were a panacea for employment. In addition to pursuing their areas of specialization, graduates should explore other marketable orientations to better their chances in the competitive job market either as employees or self-employed”, Prof. Nyaigotti- Chacha said.
The Chairman said this in response to the recurring debate on whether graduates were adequately equipped for the job market. The career event brought on board higher educational institutions, career counselors and human resource practitioners.
Commission Chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha addresses delegates during a past event
The Chairman said that it was critical for universities to ensure that they have adequate and appropriate academic resources for their graduates to be globally competitive.
The Principal Secretary, State Department for Post-Training and Skills Development, Mr. Alfred Cheruiyot, said higher education institutions should ensure that their curricula are aligned to national development needs.
Other panelists were Dr. Kipkurui Langat, Director-General, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA); Mr. Charles Ringera, the CEO, HELB; Prof. Michael Kiptoo, Director, Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC); and Mr. Joel Okwemba, a young entrepreneur and founder of Centre for International Security Affairs.
The Global Learning Council (GLC), a cross-sector group of thought leaders in the area of the effective use of technology to enhance learning and understanding, has picked Kenya to host its 4th global summit. The Summit planned for September 2019 in Nairobi, will bring together leaders from the global academic, industry and non-profit sectors to share experiences and discuss technology-enhanced learning. This is the first time the Summit will be held in an African country. The first three were held in the USA, Singapore, and Germany respectively.
Commission Secretary Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi shares notes at his office with the Dr. Helmut Blumbach, DAAD Director Regional Office for Africa when the team paid a courtesy call at the CUE
The Commission for University Education (CUE) has been earmarked to partner in the planning and hosting of the Summit. The Summit seeks to bring together Kenyan universities, research institutions and key industry players in exploring the potential of technology-based learning and practice in varied realms of the society.
A team comprising of Prof. Dr. Dr. Fredrich W. Hesse, the Scientific Chair of the GLC and Strategic Advisor for the Digital Transformation; Dr. Helmut Blumbach, DAAD Director
Regional Office for Africa; Christian Kobsda, the Political Consultant in GLC President’s Office paid a courtesy call to the Commission Secretary on 30th January 2019 to further conceptualize the matter.
(Right to left) Team leader, Prof. Dr. Dr. Fredrich W. Hesse, the Scientific Chair of the GLC and Strategic Advisor for the Digital Transformation; Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi, Commission Secretary; Christian
Kobsda, Political Consultant in GLC President’s Office; Dr. Helmut Blumbach, DAAD Director Regional Office for Africa and Prof. Jackson Too, CUE Head of Research and Development department after the deliberations at the CEO’s Office
The courtesy call was later followed by a breakfast meeting the following day at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel and attended by Amb. Amina Mohamed, CS Ministry of Education and Dr. Kevit Desai, PS in the State Department for TVET, among other distinguished guests. The Cabinet Secretary thanked the GLC for selecting Kenya to host the meeting and promised the support of the Ministry in the planning of the event.
The summit targets to bring up to 300 local, regional and international participants who will engage in discussions on how technology can be infused in areas such as Agriculture, Business and Health & Nutrition to grow the economy. The Summit will provide an avenue for sharing a wide spectrum and latest trends on ideas and perspectives in digital transformation of education and its interplay with industry to transform lives. It is anticipated the summit will trigger establishment of networks and collaborations, which will create opportunities for many to showcase their innovations.
Placement of Students in Universities on Government Sponsorship
In November 2018, the Commission for University Education (CUE) received a request from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) to validate undergraduate programmes offered at all the local public and private universities. ThePlacement Service also asked CUE to assess capacities declared by each of the universities for placement of government-funded students for the 2019/2020 placement cycle.
To adequately advise KUCCPS on its request, the Commission initiated a routine data collection exercise on the availability of academic resources in universities for programmes mounted in various local universities. The aim was to triangulate the data with the capacities and confirm validity of the programmes declared at the individual universities. The Commission’s decisions were based on facilities as well as programmes on offer as at August 2018.
Overall, CUE subjected 1,828 programmes to the special examination arising on the Placement Service’s request. Based on the preliminary examination, the Commission raised a few basic compliance issues with some of the programmes. The compliance issues were contained in an initial non-conclusive working document that formed the basis for further consultations with CUE and individual universities ahead of the commencement of the selection process on February 6th, 2019
The Commission has worked with the relevant agencies to ensure that the compliance issues raised against the majority of the programmes have been addressed. As a result, the Commission allowed the Placement Agency to admit students to the affected programmes in the 2019/2020 academic year.
However, the Commission has delayed admission approvals for a few new programmes (where there have been no students enrolled before) in the 2019/2020 academic year. The Commission will continue to work with the affected universities with a view to prepare these programmes for legibility of placement in the 2020/2021 academic year.
The Commission is committed to working with all universities to strengthen academic programmes to ensure world class standards of training in Kenya. In particular, the Commission expects universities to:
a ) Ensure adequate facilities for all their programmes in line with the universities Standard and Guidelines 2014.
b ) Provide to CUE all minutes of Senate of respective mentoring universities showing clearly that there was approval for the programmes to be mounted in Constitute Colleges.
c ) File with the Commission all their programmes that may not be accredited.
d ) Stop declaring options within already approved programmes as separate degree programmes for placement of students e.g. splitting an already approved programs into subsets and each subset being declared as a degree programme.
Some universities with unapproved, but running, programmes have been directed to commit themselves in writing to have the programmes accredited even as they mount them.
According to Universities Standards and Guidelines (PROG/STD/18), each Programme should be supported by a minimum of two (2) lecture rooms for a four-year Programme.
The Commission wishes to assure members of the public, especially students, that they should not panic about the programmes they are already enrolled in.
Commission Chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chachawas on Friday 15thFebruary at hand to witnessthe signing of Performance Targets between the Commission Secretary/CEOand the Deputy Commission Secretariesin the CEO’s Office.The exercisewas in line with Section 7.4 of the Commission’s Human Resource Manual that guides onwork planning, setting of agreed performance targets, feedback and reporting.Prof.Chacha noted the import of the activity as key in performance management and as a way of assessing results in delivering the mandate of the Commission especially in enhancedservice delivery.Hethanked the Top ManagementTeam foritscommitment towards embracingand implementing the tenets of the Performance Management Systemas set out in the Human Resource Manual. Further, he emphasized that measuringemployee performance and achievingintended results is the overall goal of the Performance Management System.The system facilitates frequent interaction and synergies between the supervisor and appraisee, optimum resource allocation, rewards for the appraisee, and identification of suitable trainings, as well as organizational deficiencies.Staff performance Appraisal System (SPAS)is also linked to staff recruitment, promotion and succession planning. He encouraged the Division of Administration & Finance to sensitize staff on SPAS in consultation with respective Heads of Divisions.
Commission Chairman Prof. Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha (right) and Commission Secretary Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi sign the performance targets for Deputy Commission Secretariesat the CEO’s Office
Commission Secretary Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwinotedthe targets entered into by the Top Management on behalf of their respective divisions will further be cascaded to the respective Headsof Departments, who will also dothe same withindividual staff membersforimplementationat grassroots. He further called on the responsible Managers to put mechanisms in place toensureindividual staff under their commandare fully aware of their responsibilities in theStaffperformance Appraisal System. The contributionfrom every member of staff, the CEO noted, will count in the eventual CUE performance rating at the end of the appraisal period.
Participating in the signing were Deputy Commission Secretary (Accreditation) Prof. Grace Njoroge, DCS Quality Audit and Standards Prof. Anne Nangulu,and DCS Administration and Finance Prof. Walter Oyawa, who coordinated the function.
The Top ManagementTeam (TMT)displays their respective signed Staff Performance Appraisal System (SPAS) Targetsafter being presided over by the Commission Chairman (2ndright). Others are Prof. Walter O. Oyawa (right), Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi/CEO (3rdright), Prof. Anne Nangulu (4thright), and Prof. Grace Njoroge (5thright).
The Commission’s Performance Management System encourages the setting of mutually agreed targets between the supervisor and the employee based on jointly planned goals, standards and competencies/skills requirements. The Appraisee will hold discussions with the immediate Supervisor to agree on the work plan. The performance targets shall thereafter be set as agreed upon in the discussions.