Should We be Concerned regarding the Quality of Academic Papers?

As far as higher education in Kenya is concerned you should be bothered about the quality of the academic papers that you are writing. These are normally supposed to be presented before you graduate.  All this has been indicated in its recent findings -revealed in an audit report done by the Commission for University Education (CUE). However, the said audit has also revealed that there are some serious issues regarding compliance as far as research projects and thesis are concerned. In Kenya only around 50 universities among ones that offer postgraduate education have the necessary framework for supervising errant practices and activities. There are five universities that do not have any quality check setup at all.

Where are these five universities?

These five universities are located in Nyanza, greater Nairobi, and Coast. The report also says that even in cases of universities with necessary frameworks there are problems regarding access to important documents. This is especially applicable with regards to supervisors as well as students. The report has also found out that in some instances the universities themselves are contravening the supervisory framework that they have built up. It cited a couple of universities in Mount Kenya where masters’ degree holders are supervising masters’ thesis presentations.

Misallocation of supervisors

In some cases, it was also seen that the supervisors had been misallocated. One was assigned to supervise a thesis that did not fall within his or her field. The report also stated that some universities did not follow the guidelines laid down by the Commission for University Education with respect to the workload to be borne by supervisors. This is why a lot of supervisors had much more work on their plate than they could manage. In some cases, the report also found that graduation lists were not approved by Senates but by other organs that presumably are not supposed to take any such step.

Issues with graduation lists

A Christian university in Nairobi and a public one at Nyanza were found to have two separate graduation lists. In one case, it was seen that the Senate had approved one list and the final list was much different from the same. Students were added later on in the graduation booklet as per the report. The report also cited the examples of a public university in North Rift and a private university at Nairobi where the supervisors and departments respectively did not give their approval to the graduation lists.

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