By Philimon Badagawa
The government regulatory body supposed to ensure quality higher education has rejected 66 PhDs awarded by Kampala International University (KIU) during the previous two graduations.
Addressing a press conference at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) offices in Kyambogo on Tuesday 26th March, Prof. Nyeko Pen Mogi, the chairman of NCHE said government was concerned with the high rate at which KIU was conducting doctoral programmes.
“We don’t recognise 66 KIU PhD degrees in their current state. We don’t want any of our universities to be blacklisted. Somebody starts up a university without proper structures and qualified staff,” Prof. Pen-Mogi pointed out.
The regulatory body had advised the university not to award the 46 PhDs during the last years’ graduation but KIU went ahead and awarded the highly doubted PhDs.
A team led by Prof. Okuda Osimba, Acting Kyambogo VC did the investigations and found out that the entire process through which these PhD students underwent was wanting and questionable.
He said the admission procedure was not clear, low quality examinations were given, underqualified supervisors and examiners were recruited, and some students spent less than the four-year approved duration for the completion of the PhD programme.
The team said that out of the 66 PhDs awarded during the 2011/12 graduations, dissertations of eight will require minor corrections, 36 require major revisions before the PhD awards can be recognized and 22 dissertations were rejected for having serious conceptual, philosophical, theoretical, methodological and new knowledge deficiencies worsened by plagiarism.
NCHE requires one professor to supervise two PhD students but it was also revealed that at KIU, one professor supervised over ten students.
The Vice Chancellor of KIU, PK Tibenderana is yet to communicate the official stand of the university on the canceled PhDs.