Kenya cracks down on fake degrees 'sold' to politicians

Institutions operating without full university degree-awarding accreditation also to be targeted

December 20, 2017
Kenyan flag

Universities in Kenya have been warned they will be deregistered if they are found to be selling fraudulent degrees to politicians.

The government is said to be planning a major shake-up in higher education from next year, including a crackdown on private universities in the country.

Mithika Linturi, the senator for Meru, is one of a growing number of politicians in the country to have had a qualification annulled, after it was claimed that he had used fake admission papers to enrol on a law course at the University of Nairobi.

Speaking at a recent graduation ceremony, Kenya’s Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’I said: “I am happy now that councils have begun to bite and strip people of their degrees. We would like to see more universities do that together with the Commission for University Education and the Education Ministry. We will take away their letters of interim authority.”

The planned crackdown will also target institutions operating as universities on letters of interim authority - temporary accreditation passes offered to those which are yet to meet government standards for full university status.

“We are going to take a serious look into this issue because you cannot hold an interim letter for eight years and more without any substantive explanation as to why you are not able to move to a fully pledged university,” Mr Matiang’i said.

Mr Linteri has since taken the matter to court for appeal, accusing the university of participating in a political “witch hunt” directed by his political opponents.

rachael.pells@timeshighereducation.com

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