Over 40 courses taught at the University of Nairobi are at the verge of being scrapped in the renewed effort to reform varsity education in the country.
According to reports by The Standard, some of the courses had not attracted any students for the last five years.
The courses are listed in a document dubbed Rationalisation of Academic Programmes which has since been tabled before the University Senate.
The document, which comprises recommendations made from over 10 faculties, outlines that courses to be dropped were either duplicated or have since been replaced.
Following the recommendation, faculties and schools touched will now have to defend why any of the courses must be retained in the university programmes list.
The marked courses cut across certificates, diploma, bachelors, masters and PhD, with the most-affected coming from these departments: agriculture, mathematics, population studies and research institute, nursing science, translation and interpretation, biological sciences, African women studies, arts, institute of anthropology, gender and African studies and physical sciences.
“Consequently, the university has undertaken to rationalise programmes and review or revise curricula to comply with the Commission for University Education (CUE) standards and guidelines,” reads the document.
In the Faculty of Agriculture, the PhD in Agriculture has been marked as one of the programmes to be scrapped.
Three programmes in the School of Mathematics are also on the list of the not so popular programmes. They are BSc in Industrial Mathematics, PhD in Applied Statistics and PhD in Mathematics.
The School of Biological Sciences is also affected, with its nine programmes being on the list. These include three courses under Open Distance and e-Learning (OdeL). They are BSc in Microbiology and Biotechnology, BSc in Biology, BSc in Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources Management.
Others are MSc in Agriculture Entomology, MSc in Medical and Veterinary Entomology, PhD in Applied Microbiology, PhD in Plant Ecology, PhD in Terrestrial Plant Ecology and PhD in Aquatic Plant Ecology.
The School of Physical sciences is among the faculties with the highest programmes set to be scrapped. The figures stand at 17.
The courses include Certificate in Chemistry, BSc in Chemistry, Bachelor of Science, BSc in Environmental Geoscience (code 117 and 127), and Postgraduate Diploma in Environment and Natural Disaster Management.
BSc in Microprocessor Technology and Instrumentation, BSc in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bachelor of Science (atmospheric science) and PhD in Environmental Chemistry are also on the list.
Others are four masters programmes; Master of Science in Environmental and Analytical Chemistry, Master of Science in Pure Chemistry, Master of Science in Inorganic Chemistry and Master of Science in Organic Chemistry and BSc in Environmental Chemistry (code 143 and code 143m3).
Diploma in Water Resources Management, Diploma in Strategic and Security Studies, post graduate Diploma in Labour Relations, postgraduate Diploma in Armed Conflicts, postgraduate Diploma in Advance Disaster and postgraduate Diploma in Security Studies will be dropped in the Faculty of Arts.
In the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, three postgraduate diploma courses will be scrapped. These are postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Studies, postgraduate Diploma in Heritage Management and postgraduate Diploma in Gender and Development Studies.
The move to drop the courses follows a tough directive by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on universities to rationalise university programmes.
The CS gave the universities two week to make the tough decisions that are also deemed to affect university staff.
Tough-talking Magoha asked public universities vice chancellors to recommend which of their universities and constituent colleges should be merged or shut down in the major reforms plan.