JKUAT chancellor Prof Joseph Ndung'u (Centre) grants a PhD Degree during the University's 33rd graduation Photo/Standard

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has defended awarding 118 doctorate degrees in its 33rd graduation ceremony on Friday 21st June.

This come after a backlash from social media platforms that questioned the integrity of the degrees offered by the institution.

“Indeed, all the 118 candidates awarded PhDs, earned their degrees having taken an average of 5 years; some having enrolled in the year  2010,” said JKUAT.

In a statement, JKUAT Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof Robert Kinyua said that the institution is proud of its graduates and assure the general public that it remains committed to the ideals and values underpinning quality, relevance, and professionalism.

“Quality higher education is at the core of Kenya’s development prospects. As such, trivializing the process by unfairly targeting JKUAT or any other institution for that matter is retrogressive and could potentially roll back gains already consolidated in the sector,” added Prof Kinyua.

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He further termed the social media commentaries as misleading and disparaging remarks that could risk the careers and future of many young Kenyans who have received their education in the University.

Professor Makau Mutua took it to twitter to raise concerns over the high number of the doctorate graduands.

His thoughts were echoed by Professor James Ole Kiyapi who questioned the integrity of the degrees awarded.

Lawyer Donanld Kipkorir urged the institution to  publish the titles of all the doctorates awarded and their supervisors for credibility purposes.

In its circular, JKUAT outlined that:

All degrees of the University are meritoriously earned and no student is allowed to graduate without going through the due process regarding coursework, seminars, original research, external examination and publications.

JKUAT observes stringent quality measures in mounting its academic and research programmes at all levels; including those set by the Commission for University Education and various professional bodies.

JKUAT has a highly qualified and dynamic faculty comprising 923 academics. The College of Human Resource Development, for instance, is served by 85 doctorate degree holders. This, in addition to veritable teaching and research infrastructure, has enabled the institution to be the most preferred in the country by students seeking higher education.

JKUAT attracted the highest number of students on government scholarships for the second year running, having admitted 4, 886 in 2018 and 5,901 students in 2019.

Last year, JKUAT conferred 105 PhD graduates .

 

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Brenda Gamonde is reporter with Business Today. Email: [email protected]

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