The Commission for University Education (CUE) has warned universities against turning to professional bodies for courses accreditation against the law.
In a circular to vice-chancellors and college principals dated June 23, CUE CEO Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi said that some professional bodies have continued to purport to accredit/approve academic programmes in universities despite the High Court prohibiting the same in June 2020.
“Several universities have called and others written to the Commission seeking for direction in this matter. Commission forwarded the judgement to all universities vide a letter dated 13th August 2020. It was the Commission’s expectation that universities would have no problem in the interpretation of the Court judgement as far as the accreditation, licensing and recognition of university education was concerned,” said Prof Ntarangwi.
The Court ruling upheld the provisions of section 5A that grants the Commission the sole mandate of regulating and accrediting universities and if there is any conflict with the professional bodies, the provisions of the Universities Act prevails.
CUE says that it is working with some professional bodies, with a view of forging a common approach to accreditation and licensing of university education (including accreditation/approval of academic programmes) in universities.
“This was informed by the realization by the Commission and the respective professional bodies that there is need to work together towards achieving their respective statutory requirements on training and accreditation of academic programmes in universities leading to registration by the respective professional bodies without necessarily causing unnecessary economic burden to our key stakeholders,” added Pro Ntarangwi.
“On a sad note, however, and despite the Court judgment, some professional bodies continue to engage universities with little regard, if any, to the Commission. This is not only contemptuous, but disregard to the sub-sector regulator. As much as the Commission is open to working with the few professional bodies that have taken this route, universities are hereby notified of the consequences of disregarding the Court directive and guidance of the regulator.”
The commission says that any university engaging anybody as far as the accreditation, licensing and recognition of university education (including accreditation/approval of academic programmes) not within an agreed framework with the Commission, “the Commission will decline to accredit/approve such programme if the same is yet to be accredited/approved”.
“For those programmes accredited/approved by the Commission and universities continue to engage anybody without due consideration of the Commission, the Commission will hence forth treat the accreditation/approval withdrawn,” concluded Prof Ntarangwi.